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Jed Noel A. Ong 1 Article
Development of Clinical Milestones in Parkinson’s Disease After Bilateral Subthalamic Deep Brain Stimulation
Jed Noel A. Ong, Jung Hwan Shin, Seungho Jeon, Chan Young Lee, Han-Joon Kim, Sun Ha Paek, Beomseok Jeon
J Mov Disord. 2022;15(2):124-131.   Published online May 26, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.21106
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objective
Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients does not halt disease progression, as these patients will progress and develop disabling non-levodopa responsive symptoms. These features may act as milestones that represent the overall functionality of patients after DBS. The objective of this study was to investigate the development of clinical milestones in advanced PD patients who underwent bilateral STN-DBS.
Methods
The study evaluated PD patients who underwent STN-DBS at baseline up to their last follow-up using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale and Hoehn and Yahr scale. The symptoms of hallucinations, dysarthria, dysphagia, frequent falls, difficulty walking, cognitive impairment and the loss of autonomy were chosen as the clinical milestones.
Results
A total of 106 patients with a mean age of 47.21 ± 10.52 years at disease onset, a mean age of 58.72 ± 8.74 years at surgery and a mean disease duration of 11.51 ± 4.4 years before surgery were included. Initial improvement of motor symptoms was seen after the surgery with the appearance of clinical milestones over time. Using the moderately disabling criteria, 81 patients (76.41%) developed at least one clinical milestone, while 48 patients (45.28%) developed a milestone when using the severely disabling criteria.
Conclusion
STN-DBS has a limited effect on axial and nonmotor symptoms of the PD patients, in contrast to the effect on motor symptoms. These symptoms may serve as clinical milestones that can convey the status of PD patients and its impact on the patients and their caregivers. Therefore, advanced PD patients, even those treated with bilateral STN-DBS, will still require assistance and cannot live independently in the long run.

JMD : Journal of Movement Disorders