Publication date: Jun 30, 2020
Credit: Vanderbilt University Medical Center Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) implanted in early stage Parkinson’s disease decreases the risk of disease progression and the need to prescribe multiple drugs to patients simultaneously, according to a five-year outcomes study of 30 patients released in the July 2020, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The journal released a Classification of Evidence statement along with the study stating that it provides “Class II evidence that DBS implanted in early stage Parkinson disease decreases the risk of disease progression and polypharmacy compared to optimal medical therapy alone. “
With this pilot study, we’ve shown that if DBS is implanted early it’s likely to decrease the risk of progression, and if this is borne out in our larger study it would be a landmark achievement in the field of Parkinson’s disease,” said senior author David Charles, MD, professor and vice-chair of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).
After five years, the patients who received optimal drug therapy only but not surgery in early-stage Parkinson’s had five-fold greater odds of experiencing worsening of their rest tremor, a hallmark of this disease, as compared to patients who received early DBS in addition to drug therapy.
“Patients who were randomized to receive early optimal drug therapy had 15-fold greater odds of needing multiple types of Parkinson’s disease medications,” said project leader Mallory Hacker, Ph. D., MSCI, assistant professor of Neurology at VUMC.