Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society



Neuropsychological performance following staged bilateral pallidal or subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease


JOHANNES C.  ROTHLIND  a1 a2 a3 c1 , RANDALL W.  COCKSHOTT  a3 , PHILIP A.  STARR  a3 a4 and WILLIAM J.  MARKS  JR. a3 a5
a1 Mental Health Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California
a2 Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California
a3 Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center (PADRECC), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California
a4 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California
a5 Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California

Article author query
rothlind jc   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cockshott rw   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
starr pa   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
marks wj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has the potential to significantly reduce motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). Controversy remains about non-motor effects of DBS and the relative advantages of treatment at two brain targets, the globus pallidus internus (GPi) and the subthalamic nucleus (STN). We investigated effects of DBS on neuropsychological functioning in 42 patients with advanced PD randomly assigned to receive staged bilateral DBS surgery of either the GPi or STN. Patients underwent neuropsychological assessment prior to and 6 months after unilateral surgery. Twenty-nine subsequently underwent surgery to the contralateral side and completed a second follow-up neuropsychological evaluation 15 months later. Unilateral treatment resulted in small but statistically significant reductions in performance on several measures, including verbal fluency and working memory. A similar pattern was observed after bilateral treatment. Reductions in verbal associative fluency were significant only after left-sided treatment. There were few significant differences related to treatment at the two surgical targets. Supplementary analyses suggested that decrements in select neuropsychological domains following DBS are unrelated to age or post-surgical reduction in dopaminergic medication dose. Findings are discussed with reference to possible causes of neuropsychological decline and the need for further controlled studies of specific neuropsychological effects of DBS. (JINS, 2007, 13, 68–79.)

(Received September 28 2005)
(Revised July 10 2006)
(Accepted July 13 2006)


Key Words: Paralysis agitans; Neurosurgery; Globus pallidus; Subthalamus; Treatment outcome; Cognition.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr. Johannes C. Rothlind, Mental Health Service (116B), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121. E-mail: Johannes.Rothlind@Med.VA.Gov


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