Current Research Reviews Archives

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Our Current Research Reviews ("CRR") is designed to summarize the most recent research on DBS to the general public in a comprehensive, yet simplified fashion. Due to copyright laws we are not allowed to put full articles on the website, but we want to provide the reader with understandable snippets of what is going on in the research world.  The CRR will be updated monthly to keep you informed of further insights into DBS therapy, including DBS advances, limitations, strengths, and weaknesses.  We try to monitor "hot topics" in research and provide such information to our readers.

The idea for our CRR is structured after the valuable service that Joe Bruman offered to the Parkinson's community. In 1994, when the Web was in its infancy, Joe began publishing an easy-to-read overview of published science and medical news on Parkinson's disease. He updated it monthly until his death in 2003. We acknowledge Joe's contribution, and our researchers are continuing his tradition for the DBS community. As Joe has eloquently stated on his site, "CRR items describe current work which may or may NOT prove to be important. Each one is just a piece of the big PD jigsaw puzzle. … CRR provides an inkling of where we are, what lies ahead."

A few other points are noteworthy:

  1. Should you desire a copy of the full article, the articles that we review are available most often for a fee (ranges from $15-50) online or through medical or public libraries (fees will vary).  The fees are set up by the journal in which it is published. or The Parkinson Alliance is not affiliated with these journals, and we do not receive any money from the purchase of any article.
  2. We provide a link to a website ( that will help the reader find the article online.  If you go to through the link on our website to search for an article in which you are interested, you should be brought directly to that article's information.  Usually on the upper left hand area of the screen there will be 1-2 buttons that will say something to the effect of "click here to read" or "full text pdf," and the name of the journal will be listed.  Click on one of those buttons and you should be redirected to the journals website (e.g. Neurology, Movement Disorders, etc). 
  3. Most of the journal websites are pretty self explanatory on how to order the journal and are upfront about their fees.  It may be possible to order the article through your local library, which will vary from library to library.  Some hospitals may also allow patients to make a copy of an article that is available in their medical libraries.  This will also vary per hospital, and you can find out about a hospital's resources by asking the hospital libraries directly.

The information contained in our CRR is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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Research Review Archives

Current Research Review — May/Jun 2017

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry

Little S, Tripoliti E, Beudel M, Pogosyan A, Cagnan H, Herz D, Bestmann S, Aziz T, Cheeran B, Zrinzo L, Hariz M, Hyam J, Limousin P, Foltynie T, Brown P.. Adaptive deep brain stimulation for Parkinson. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 2016 Aug 16. pii: jnnp-2016-313518. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2016-313518

Click here to read a longer version of this review.

Introduction:   Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) that improves tremor but can cause unintelligibility in speech.  The authors discuss using adaptive deep brain stimulation (aDBS), instead of conventional DBS (cDBS).  Adaptive DBS uses specific feedback from the brain to guide stimulation settings in real time so that the brain isn’t receiving constant stimulation when it may not need it.  The purpose of this study was to look at the aDBS approach with a biomarker (e.g. ? oscillatory activity) compared to cDBS in hope that it would be more effective and efficient in reducing motor symptoms but also reduce the likelihood of speech challenges in people with PD (PWP).

Method:  Eight PWP that underwent bilateral DBS STN were studied 3-6 days after electrode placement.  They were evaluated in the aDBS, cDBS, and OFF conditions.  Adaptive DBS stimulation was provided only when the biomarker exceeded a set threshold.  Two outcome measures were studied, speech and motor impairment.  A speech language pathologist evaluated the PWP speech and movements were evaluated via video by two movement disorder specialists that were not involved in their treatment.   

Results:  The authors found that speech was more intelligible with the aDBS condition than cDBS.  They also found that aDBS was comparable with speech to the OFF condition but cDBS was worse than OFF.  They found a similar finding with motor scores where aDBS evidenced more improvement in motor scores than cDBS.

Conclusion:  The authors suggest that aDBS may more effectively improve motor symptoms in PWP after DBS. They also found less speech changes with the aDBS.  The authors acknowledge that there are multiple limitations within the study including limited sample size, the evaluation taking place so quickly after surgery, and that effects were not evaluated longitudinally to see if the benefits remained over time.  They quickly note that this is a concept study that shows potential but requires more clinical trial investigation to determine efficacy and ability to chronically reduce a disabling adverse event from cDBS.

Click here for the PubMed Abstract