• Parkinson's disease;
  • deep brain stimulation;
  • subthalamic nucleus


Currently, no study of subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation has compared continuous stimulation with a period of short-term stimulation, which is frequently employed in the clinic and in research studies. Therefore, this study examined the effects of STN stimulation over 90 min (short) and greater than 3 months (long) on the cardinal signs of Parkinson's disease. The 90 min time period immediately followed a 12 hour withdrawal from both STN stimulation and medication. Ten PD patients who received STN stimulation were studied. Bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor were evaluated using the UPDRS and motor control measures which included peak velocity (bradykinesia), work (rigidity), and amplitude (tremor). Results showed no difference between 90 min and greater than 3 months of STN stimulation for the UPDRS or motor control measures. This finding confirms that the treatment efficacy that is derived from a relatively short time course of stimulation generalizes to longer time periods of high frequency STN stimulation that patients experience in their daily lives. As such, it is reasonable to evaluate the effect of DBS after 90 min of stimulation in clinical trials and research studies. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society