Get access

Pallidal stimulation in advanced Parkinson's patients with contraindications for subthalamic stimulation


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bilateral pallidal (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) 6 months after surgery in advanced parkinsonian patients whose dopa-resistant axial motor signs or cognitive decline constituted contraindications for subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS. Seventeen patients with a mean age of 59.3 ± 7.1 years (range, 45–70), mean disease duration of 12.5 ± 4.3 years (range, 7–20), and contraindications for STN DBS, underwent bilateral GPi DBS. They were evaluated before surgery and 6 months afterward, in accordance with Core Assessment Program for Intracerebral Transplantation recommendations. There were mean improvements of 41.1% in the UPDRS III motor score in the off-dopa condition and 20.3% in the activities of daily living score. Motor fluctuations were reduced by 22.9% and dyskinesias by 68.6%. Axial motor signs improved in the off-dopa condition by 34.2%. Neuropsychological performances remained unchanged at the 6-month assessment. Bilateral GPi DBS is both safe and effective in advanced parkinsonian patients with untreatable motor fluctuations, for whom STN DBS is contraindicated due to dopa-resistant axial motor signs or cognitive decline. As such, it should be regarded as a viable option for these patients. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society