Effect of bilateral subthalamic electrical stimulation in Parkinson's disease

G. Broggi, F. Girotti, D. Servello, S. Genitrini, P. Soliveri, T. Caraceni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bilateral high frequency subthalamic stimulation has proved to be effective in ameliorating parkinsonian symptoms in advanced disease stage including dyskinesias. Eleven patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) complicated by motor fluctuations and dyskinesias underwent bilateral subthalamic stimulation by means of electrodes introduced chronically into the subthalamic nuclei. The patients were followed for between six and 12 months. Patient age was between 51 and 67 years and illness duration between 8 and 27 years. Motor evaluation was performed by the UPDRS parts II and III. Stimulation parameters were frequency 160 hertz, pulse width between 60 and 90 μsec and amplitude between 1.3 and 3 volts. At last examination UPDRS II and III were improved in nine patients by 40%-70% while on stimulation and off therapy, one patient could not be reassessed due to a severe intercurrent illness not related to surgery and another patient did not benefit from deep brain stimulation because of incorrect electrode positioning. The nine patients who benefited from the intervention had a 50% reduction of daily off time, while peak dyskinesias and early morning dystonia also improved in relation to therapy reduction. Side effects among the nine improved patients were asymptomatic intracerebral hematoma in one case and transitional nocturnal confusion episodes in two others. It is concluded that subthalamic stimulation in PD can be useful for controlling disease symptomatology and improving quality of life (as revealed by improved UPDRS part II score) in patients with advanced PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266
Number of pages1
JournalItalian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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