The bilateral effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been extensively studied and reviewed. However, the unilateral effects-in particular, the potential lateralized effects of left- versus right-sided DBS-have not been adequately recognized or studied.
Lin et al. summarized the current evidence and controversies in the literature regarding the lateralized effects of DBS on motor and non-motor outcomes in PD patients. Publications in the English language before February 2021 were obtained from the PubMed database and included if they directly compared the effects of unilateral versus contralateral side DBS on the motor or non-motor outcomes in PD. The current literature is overall of low-quality and is biased by various confounders. Researchers have investigated mainly PD patients receiving subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS while the potential lateralized effects of globus pallidus internus (GPi) DBS have not been adequately studied. Evidence suggests potential lateralized effects of STN DBS on axial motor symptoms and deleterious effects of left-sided DBS on language-related functions, in particular, the verbal fluency, in PD. The lateralized DBS effects on appendicular motor symptoms as well as other neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric domains remain inconclusive. Future studies should control for varying methodological approaches as well as clinical and DBS management heterogeneities, including symptom laterality, stimulation parameters, location of active contacts, and lead trajectories. This would contribute to improved treatment strategies such as personalized target selection, surgical planning, and postoperative management that ultimately benefit patients 1).
Suboptimal targeting within the STN can give rise to intolerable sensorimotor side effects, such as dysarthria, contractions and paresthesias 3) 4) 5). eye movement perturbations, and psychiatric symptoms 6) 7) 8), limiting the management of motor symptoms. The small size of the STN motor territory and the consequences of spreading current to immediately adjacent structures obligate precise targeting. Neurosurgeons therefore rely on a combination of imaging, electrophysiology, kinesthetic responses, and stimulation testing to accurately place the DBS lead into the sensorimotor domain of STN 9) 10) 11).
High frequency subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves the cardinal motor signs of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and attenuates STN alpha/beta band neural synchrony in a voltage-dependent manner. While there is a growing interest in the behavioral effects of lower frequency (60 Hz) DBS, little is known about its effect on STN neural synchrony.
Low-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus via the optimal contacts is effective in improving overall motor function of patients with Parkinson Disease 13). In Parkinson’s disease significantly improved important aspects of QoL as measured by PDQ-39. The improvements were maintained at 2 years follow-up except for social support and communication. Sobstyl et al., demonstrated a positive correlation between changes in the off condition of motor UPDRS scores and Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale in several PDQ-39 dimensions, whereas fluctuation UPDRS scores were negatively correlated with PDQ-39 mobility scores 14).
The degree of clinical improvement achieved by deep brain stimulation (DBS) is largely dependent on the accuracy of lead placement.
A study reports on the evaluation of intraoperative MRI (iMRI) for adjusting deviated electrodes to the accurate anatomical position during DBS surgery and acute intracranial changes 15).
Although dementia is a contraindication in deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, the concept is supported by little scientific evidence. Moreover, it is unclear whether PD with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) or domain-specific cognitive impairments affect the outcome of DBS in non-demented PD patients.
Baseline cognitive levels of patients with PD who underwent DBS were classified into PD with dementia (PDD) (n = 15), PD-MCI (n = 210), and normal cognition (PD-NC) (n = 79). The impact of the cognitive level on key DBS outcome measures [mortality, nursing home admission, progression to Hoehn&Yahr (HY) stage 5 and progression to PDD] were analyzed using Cox regression models. Park et al. also investigated whether impairment of a specific cognitive domain could predict these outcomes in non-demented patients.
Results: Patients with PDD showed a substantially higher risk of nursing home admission and progression to HY stage 5 compared with patients with PD-MCI [hazard ratio (HR) 4.20, P = .002; HR = 5.29, P < .001] and PD-NC (HR 7.50, P < .001; HR = 7.93, P < .001). MCI did not alter the prognosis in patients without dementia, but those with visuospatial impairment showed poorer outcomes for nursing home admission (P = .015), progression to HY stage 5 (P = .027) and PDD (P = .006).
Conclusions: Cognitive profiles may stratify the pre-operative risk and predict long-term outcomes of DBS in PD 16).