Revisiting the L-Dopa Response as a Predictor of Motor Outcomes After Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15:604433 (2021)
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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the correlation between preoperative response to the L-dopa challenge test and efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on motor function in Parkinson’s disease (PD).Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the data of 38 patients with idiopathic PD who underwent DBS surgery with a median follow-up duration of 7 months. Twenty underwent bilateral globus pallidus interna (GPi) DBS, and 18 underwent bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS. The Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale-Motor Part (MDS UPDRS-III) was assessed before surgery and at the last follow-up in different medication and stimulation conditions, respectively.Results: Pearson’s correlation analysis revealed a positive correlation between preoperative L-dopa challenge responsiveness and GPi-DBS responsiveness on the total score (R2 = 0.283, p = 0.016) but not on the non-tremor total score (R2 = 0.158, p = 0.083) of MDS UPDRS-III. Such correlation remained significant (R2′ = 0.332, p = 0.010) after controlling for age at the time of surgery as confounding factor by partial correlation analysis. The preoperative L-dopa challenge responsiveness was significantly correlated with the tremor-controlling outcome of GPi-DBS (R2 = 0.390, p = 0.003). In contrast, we found a positive correlation between preoperative L-dopa challenge responsiveness and STN-DBS responsiveness on the non-tremor total score (R2 = 0.290, p = 0.021), but not on the total score (R2 = 0.130, p = 0.141) of MDS UPDRS-III. The partial correlation analysis further demonstrated that the predictive value of preoperative L-dopa challenge responsiveness on the non-tremor motor outcome of STN-DBS was eliminated (R2′ = 0.120, p = 0.174) after controlling for age at the time of surgery as confounding factor.Interpretation: The short-term predictive value of preoperative response to the L-dopa challenge test for the motor outcome of GPi-DBS in PD was systematically described. Our findings suggest: (1) a solid therapeutic effect of GPi-DBS in treating L-dopa-responsive tremors; (2) a negative effect of age at the time of surgery on motor outcomes of STN-DBS, (3) a possible preference of STN- to GPi-DBS in L-dopa-resistant tremor control, and (4) a possible preference of GPi- to STN-DBS in elderly PD patients who have a satisfactory dopamine response.

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