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Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Non Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease as well as Motor Symptoms

According to New Review Published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease

July 3, 2014
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non-pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson’s disease. Evidence now indicates that DBS can decrease the number and severity of non motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as well, according to a review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

“Non motor features are common in PD patients, occur across all disease stages, and while well described, are still under-recognized when considering their huge impact on patients’ quality of life,” says Lisa Klingelhoefer, MD, a fellow at the National Parkinson Foundation International Centre of Excellence, Department of Neurology, King’s College Hospital and King’s College, London.

For example, DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is effective for alleviating sleep problems and fatigue associated with PD, producing noticeable long-term improvements in sleep efficiency and the quality and duration of continuous sleep. DBS also decreases nighttime and early morning dystonia and improves nighttime mobility. “DBS can contribute to better sleep, less daytime somnolence, improved mobility, and less need for dopamine replacement therapy,” says Dr. Klingelhoefer.

The effects of DBS on some other non motor symptoms of PD are less clear cut and transient worsening of neuropsychological and psychiatric symptoms have been reported. For instance, behavioral disorders such as impulsivity (e.g. hypersexuality, pathological gambling, and excessive eating) can occur or worsen in PD patients after STN DBS. While pre-existing drug-induced psychotic symptoms like hallucinations often disappear after STN DBS, transient psychotic symptoms such as delirium may emerge in the immediate post-operative period. Similarly, conflicting reports have found that STN DBS improves, worsens, or does not change mood disorders such as depression, mania, or anxiety.

“Further work is required in order to fully understand the mechanisms and impact of DBS of the STN or other brain structures on the non motor symptoms of PD,” concludes Dr. Klingelhoefer. She suggests that in the future, non motor symptoms of PD may become an additional primary indication for DBS.

PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the United States, affecting approximately one million Americans and five million people worldwide. Its prevalence is projected to double by 2030. The most characteristic symptoms are movement-related, such as involuntary shaking and muscle stiffness. Non motor symptoms, such as worsening depression, anxiety, olfactory dysfunction, sweating, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and sleep disturbances, can appear prior to the onset of motor symptoms. 

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NOTES FOR EDITORS

“An Update of the Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on Non Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease,” by Lisa Klingelhoefer, Michael Samuel, K. Ray Chaudhuri, and Keyoumars Ashkan (DOI: 10.3233/JPD-130273). Volume 4/Issue 2 (Special Issue on Mental Dysfunction and Parkinson’s Disease). The article is openly available here

Contact Daphne Watrin, IOS Press, at +31 20 688 3355 or d.watrin@iospress.nl to request additional information. Journalists wishing to interview the authors should contact Dr. Lisa Klingelhoefer at Lisa.klingelhoefer@nhs.net.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE (JPD)

Launched in June 2011 the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease is dedicated to providing an open forum for original research in basic science, translational research and clinical medicine that will expedite our fundamental understanding and improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The journal is international and multidisciplinary and aims to promote progress in the epidemiology, etiology, genetics, molecular correlates, pathogenesis, pharmacology, psychology, diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, and letters-to-the-editor and offers very rapid publication and an affordable open access option. 

ABOUT IOS PRESS

Commencing its publishing activities in 1987, IOS Press serves the information needs of scientific and medical communities worldwide. IOS Press now (co-)publishes over 100 international journals and about 90 book titles each year on subjects ranging from computer sciences and mathematics to medicine and the natural sciences.

IOS Press continues its rapid growth, embracing new technologies for the timely dissemination of information. All journals are available electronically and an e-book platform was launched in 2005.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with satellite offices in the USA, Germany, India and China, IOS Press has established several strategic co-publishing initiatives. Notable acquisitions included Delft University Press in 2005 and Millpress Science Publishers in 2008.