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Levodopa response in long-term bilateral subthalamic stimulation for Parkinson's disease



Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) is effective in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), but its effects on the levodopa response are unclear. We studied the levodopa response after long-term STN-DBS, STN-DBS efficacy and predictive value of preoperative levodopa response to long-term DBS benefit in 33 PD patients with bilateral STN-DBS. Patients were assessed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale preoperatively (with and without medications) and postoperatively (without medications or stimulation, with only medications or stimulation, and with both medications and stimulation). Levodopa response significantly decreased postoperatively by 31.1% at 3 years and 32.3% at 5 years, possibly related to the reduction in medication requirement, direct STN stimulation effect or PD progression. STN-DBS alone significantly improved motor scores (37.2% at 3 years and 35.1% at 5 years) and activities of daily living scores (27.1% at 3 years and 19.2% at 5 years). Anti-PD drugs were significantly reduced by 47.9% at 3 years and 39.8% at 5 years. However, the magnitude of the preoperative response to levodopa did not predict DBS benefit at 3 and 5 years. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society