In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (SDBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease and abnormal body position (posture). Researchers suggested that SDBS has an effect on these patients increasing the effect of medication alone.
In advanced Parkinson disease, abnormal trunk and neck postures are a common cause of disability and decreased quality of life. Treatments for this condition are limited. Levodopa or botulinum toxin (Botox) might help to treat this condition, while other treatments can worsen the posture. Prior studies showed that SDBS was associated with better postures. SDBS consists in a medical device located in the brain that sends electrical impulses to certain brain areas.
It is still not clear how this treatment can affect the posture of patients with Parkinson's disease.
Methods & findings
This study included information (video-recordings) about 158 patients. Patients received SDBS treatment and standard Parkinson's disease medication. They were evaluated before and after an average of 15 months after the SDBS treatment.
At follow-up, there was an improvement of 6.7% in the general posture of patients. Male gender, short disease duration and movement response to levodopa were predictive factors for a better posture. Patients with bent spine syndrome improved by 13.8%-48.1% and those who had a tendency to bend to one side improved by 67.5%.
The bottom line
This study concluded that SDBS has a small but significant effect on Parkinson's disease-associated postural problems, increasing the effect of levodopa treatment.
The fine print
This study had a short follow-up period with a lack of data on the long-term posture effect of SDBS.
Published By :
Parkinsonism & related disorders
Jan 06, 2019
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