In a nutshell
This study investigated whether receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS) or medical therapy affects the quality of life of patients with Parkinson´s disease. Researchers suggested that DBS is associated with neuropsychological changes that affect the quality of life of these patients.
Parkinson’s disease is progressive. After long-term treatment with medication, patients may start to experience periods where symptoms return. At this point, other treatments are needed.
DBS involves electrical stimulation of the brain. In DBS, an electrode is surgically implanted into the brain, and a generator is implanted in the chest. This allows for direct stimulation of the brain, which can decrease motor symptoms.
Some prior studies have shown that DBS had neuropsychological (cognitive) side effects, such as with learning and memory. Some studies have noted large changes that affect quality of life, while other studies have not found any changes. Therefore, the clinical outcomes of DBS are not fully understood.
Methods & findings
The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical and cognitive outcomes of DBS and how it affects quality of life.
This study included 280 patients. 116 patients received medication and 164 received DBS. All patients underwent neuropsychological testing (tests that measure learning, memory, and attention) before treatment and 6 months after treatment. Patients were followed for up to 24 months.
11% of the DBS group displayed a decline in cognitive function compared to 3% of those treated with medication. These included changes in speed of information processing and memory. Changes in cognitive function were associated with fewer improvements to quality of life.
The bottom line
This study concluded that deep brain stimulation is associated with changes in neuropsychological functioning and quality of life.
Published By :
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
Jun 01, 2015
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