• Parkinson's disease;
  • subthalamic nucleus;
  • basal ganglia;
  • deep brain stimulation;
  • predictive factor;
  • levodopa


There is a consensus that in Parkinson's disease, the extent of preoperative levodopa responsiveness predicts the efficacy of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN DBS). However, this may be the result of statistical methods and primary assumptions. We were able to reproduce previously published correlation results on our data (N = 49 patients). Yet, these same results were demonstrated even after random shuffling of our data. Notably, we did not observe a correlation between STN DBS efficacy and preoperative levodopa responsiveness when using their respective baselines and fractional scores of motor improvement. Furthermore, postoperative responses were not limited by preoperative scores, with tremor demonstrating the greatest discrepancy. We conclude that preoperative levodopa responsiveness does not predict or limit the outcome of STN DBS. These results imply different therapeutic mechanisms for levodopa and STN DBS and therefore question the validity of using substantial preoperative levodopa responsiveness as a selection criterion for STN DBS. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society