The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease with Early Motor Complications

Deep brain stimulation is FDA-approved and has been used for years to treat patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) who have severe levodopa-induced motor complications.1 New evidence from a controlled trial suggests that it may also be effective for patients with PD and early motor complications.

SURGICAL TREATMENT — Medical therapy is effective for initial treatment of PD.2 Surgical ablation or deep brain stimulation has generally been recommended only for patients with intolerable dyskinesias or motor fluctuations while on levodopa. Appropriate candidates for surgery are those whose cognition is relatively intact, who are not depressed, and who have no medical contraindications.3

DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION — High-frequency electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus or ... more      

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