GPi vs STN deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease

GPi vs STN deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease

Three-year follow-up

  1. Vincent J.J. Odekerken, MD*,
  2. Judith A. Boel, MSc*,
  3. Ben A. Schmand, PhD,
  4. Rob J. de Haan, PhD,
  5. M. Figee, MD, PhD,
  6. Pepijn van den Munckhof, MD, PhD,
  7. P. Richard Schuurman, MD, PhD,
  8. Rob M.A. de Bie, MD, PhD;
  9. For the NSTAPS study group



  1. Correspondence to Dr. Odekerken:
  1. Neurology February 23, 2016 vol. 86 no. 8 755-761


Objective: To compare motor symptoms, cognition, mood, and behavior 3 years after deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) and subthalamic nucleus (STN) in advanced Parkinson disease (PD).

Methods: Patients with PD eligible for DBS were randomized to bilateral GPi DBS and bilateral STN DBS (1:1). The primary outcome measures were (1) improvement in motor symptoms in off-drug phase measured with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and (2) a composite score for cognitive, mood, and behavioral effects, and inability to complete follow-up at 36 months after surgery.

Results: Of the 128 patients enrolled, 90 were able to complete the 3-year follow-up. We found significantly more improvement of motor symptoms after STN DBS (median [interquartile range (IQR)] at 3 years, GPi 33 [23–41], STN 28 [20–36], p = 0.04). No between-group differences were observed on the composite score (GPi 83%, STN 86%). Secondary outcomes showed larger improvement in off-drug functioning in the AMC Linear Disability Scale score after STN DBS (mean ± SD, GPi 65.2 ± 20.1, STN 72.6 ± 18.0, p = 0.05). Medication was reduced more after STN DBS (median levodopa equivalent dose [IQR] at 3 years, GPi 1,060 [657–1,860], STN 605 [411–875], p < 0.001). No differences in adverse effects were recorded, apart from more reoperations to a different target after GPi DBS (GPi n = 8, STN n = 1).

Conclusions: Off-drug phase motor symptoms and functioning improve more after STN DBS than after GPi DBS. No between-group differences were observed on a composite score for cognition, mood, and behavior, and the inability to participate in follow-up.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that STN DBS provides more off-phase motor improvement than GPi DBS, but with a similar risk for cognitive, mood, and behavioral complications.


  • Go to for full disclosures. Funding information and disclosures deemed relevant by the authors, if any, are provided at the end of the article.



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