Abdominal Muscles, Disease Onset Predict Efficacy of Subthalamic Nucleus DBS in Parkinson’s

Investigators sought to determine whether subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation could influence clinical outcomes in patients with Parkinson disease.

Thicker abdominal muscles and younger age at disease onset are associated with posture improvement for patients with Parkinson disease (PD) who undergo subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS), according to results published in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders.

The study included participants with PD (n=74). The researchers analyzed clinical data using participants’ functional status before and after STN-DBS, including anteflexion vs non-anteflexion, scoliosis vs non-scoliosis, improved anteflexion vs non-improved anteflexion, and improved scoliosis vs non-improved scoliosis.

Among participants with anteflexion, Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III motor scores at off medication were worse compared with participants with non-anteflexion.

Participants with scoliosis had more comorbid spinal deformity and longer disease duration compared with participants without scoliosis.

Participants who showed improved anteflexion after STN-DBS had thicker abdominal oblique muscles and transverse abdominal muscle compared with participants without improved anteflexion.

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Participants who had improvements in scoliosis after treatment were significantly younger at PD onset compared with those without scoliosis improvement.

“With the small number of patients included in our study, a large multicenter trial may reveal true prognostic factors of STN-DBS in the treatment of abnormal postures in PD,” the researchers wrote.


Okazaki M, Sasaki T, Yasuhara T, et al. Characteristics and prognostic factors of Parkinson’s disease patients with abnormal postures subjected to subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation [published online July 25, 2018]. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.07.014