The effects of deep brain stimulation on psychiatric symptoms in Parkinson's disease

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) neuropsychiatric symptoms Parkinson’s disease

I.E.C. Sommer
S. van der Zee
B. Smid

Nature of the research:
Prospective cohort study including neuropsychiatric assessment before and after deep brain stimulation

Fields of study:
neurosurgery neurology psychiatry

Background / introduction
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, clinically defined by motor symptoms including rigidity, hypokinesia, postural instability and tremor. In addition, non-motor symptoms are common and greatly influence the quality of life of patients.
The benefit of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in controlling motor symptoms in PD has been consistently demonstrated. However, the impact of DBS on non-motor symptoms remains elusive. Previous research suggest a beneficial role of DBS on non-motor symptoms, reducing the prevalence and intensity of multiple non-motor symptoms, including mood, sleep disorders, impulse control disorders and psychotic experiences (1). On the other hand, apathy has been shown to worsen after DBS. Whether the change in non-motor symptomology is related to the DBS directly or via the corresponding change in pharmacotherapy is unknown.
Overall, the effect of DBS on non-motor symptoms, and in particular neuropsychiatric non-motor symptoms needs further exploring. We therefore aim to investigate the effect of DBS, including the change in pharmacotherapy, on the psychiatric non-motor symptoms in PD. We hypothesize improvement in psychotic experiences (hallucinations and delusional ideas), impulsivity, compulsivity, depression and daytime sleepiness, as a result of DBS or the change in pharmacotherapy.
Research question / problem definition
How do psychiatric symptoms change after deep brain stimulation and corresponding change in pharmacotherapy in Parkinson’s disease?
This project includes the administration of 5 questionnaires on psychiatric and other non-motor symptoms in PD patients as part of the clinical DBS screening and follow-up. In addition, the opportunity to be involved in related neuropsychiatric projects within our researchgroup is provided.

Besides a master thesis, this project can potentially be continued as a MD/PhD project.

Interested? Mail to
Kurtis, M. M., Rajah, T., Delgado, L. F., & Dafsari, H. S. (2017). The effect of deep brain stimulation on the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: a critical review of the current evidence. NPJ Parkinson’s Disease, 3(1), 16024.
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