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Effects of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation on sweating function in Parkinson's disease

Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2009.11.015
  • Parkinson'S Disease
  • Sweating
  • Sympathetic Skin Response
  • Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation
  • Autonomic Disturbances
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Purpose To assess the impact of subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) on the sweating function in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods Nineteen patients with idiopathic PD (mean age ± SD, 61.58 ± 9.47) were examined immediately before and 6 months after DBS. Each examination session included registration of autonomic symptoms by means of a semi-structural questionnaire and recording of sympathetic skin response (SSR) from both palms and one sole. The neurophysiological measurements were compared to those of 19 matched for sex and age healthy controls. Results Six months post-DBS motor improvement was amounted to 65.9% and the daily levodopa equivalent dose was decreased by 36.4%. Post-operatively, dyshidrosis manifestations were reduced by 66.7% (pre-DBS sudomotor dysfunction in 47.4% of patients and sudomotor fluctuation in 57.1% of the above patients). There were no significant differences in-between pre- and post-DBS results of SSR study. However, the number of patients with at least one abnormal SSR pre-operative was reduced from 6 to 3 post-operative. No correlation was found between this neurophysiological finding and the change of clinical symptoms of hyperhidrosis or the DBS motor improvement. Conclusions These results, although based on a small sample, suggest that STN DBS, in addition to the effect to the mobility, might also favorably regulate sweat in idiopathic PD.

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