HealthDay News — Low-frequency deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM DBS) can be safely conducted in patients with Parkinson disease dementia, but it does not result in significant improvements in primary cognitive outcomes, according to a study published online in JAMA Neurology.

James Gratwicke, MD, PhD, from University College London, and colleagues evaluated 6 patients with Parkinson disease dementia who were treated with NBM DBS. After surgery, patients received either active stimulation (bilateral, low-frequency [20 Hz] NBM DBS) or sham stimulation for 6 weeks followed by the opposite condition for the next 6 weeks.

The researchers found that all patients tolerated surgery and stimulation well with no reports of serious adverse events. There were no consistent improvements in primary cognitive outcomes or in resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging results. NBM DBS patients saw an improvement in Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores vs sham stimulation (8.5 vs 12 points).

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“Low-frequency NBM DBS was safely conducted in patients with Parkinson disease dementia; however, no improvements were observed in the primary cognitive outcomes,” the authors write. “Further studies may be warranted to explore its potential to improve troublesome neuropsychiatric symptoms.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.


Gratwicke J, Zrinzo L, Kahan J, et al. Bilateral deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of meynert for Parkinson disease dementia: a randomized clinical trial [published online December 18, 2017]. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3762