Spinal Cord Stimulation for Gait Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease and Atypical Parkinsonism: A Systematic Review of Preclinical and Clinical Data.

Publication date: Jul 13, 2023

Falls in extrapyramidal disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease (PD), multisystem atrophy (MSA), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), are key milestones affecting patients’ quality of life, incurring increased morbidity/mortality and high healthcare costs. Unfortunately, gait and balance in parkinsonisms respond poorly to currently available treatments. A serendipitous observation of improved gait and balance in patients with PD receiving spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for back pain kindled an interest in using SCS to treat gait disorders in parkinsonisms. We reviewed preclinical and clinical studies of SCS to treat gait dysfunction in parkinsonisms, covering its putative mechanisms and efficacies. Preclinical studies in animal models of PD and clinical studies in patients with PD, PSP, and MSA who received SCS for gait disorders were included. The main outcome assessed was clinical improvement in gait, together with outcome measures used and possible mechanism of actions. We identified 500 references, and 45 met the selection criteria and have been included in this study for analysis. Despite positive results in animal models, the outcomes in human studies are inconsistent. The lack of blind and statistically powered studies, the heterogeneity in patient selection and study outcomes, and the poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of SCS are some of the limiting factors in the field. Addressing these limitations will allow us to draw more reliable conclusions on the effects of SCS on gait and balance in extrapyramidal disorders.

Concepts Keywords
Disorders Freezing of gait
Extrapyramidal multiple system atrophy
Healthcare Parkinson’s disease
Parkinsonism progressive supranuclear palsy
Systematic spinal cord stimulation


Type Source Name
disease MESH Gait
disease MESH Parkinsonism
disease MESH extrapyramidal disorders
disease MESH multisystem atrophy
disease MESH progressive supranuclear palsy
disease MESH morbidity
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
disease MESH back pain
drug DRUGBANK Methionine

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