Deep brain stimulation for freezing of gait in Parkinson's Disease with early motor complications.
- Transversal Translational Medicine
BACKGROUND: Effects of DBS on freezing of gait and other axial signs in PD patients are unclear. OBJECTIVE: Secondary analysis to assess whether DBS affects these symptoms within a large randomized controlled trial comparing DBS of the STN combined with best medical treatment and best medical treatment alone in patients with early motor complications (EARLYSTIM-trial). METHODS: One hundred twenty-four patients were randomized in the stimulation group and 127 patients in the best medical treatment group. Presence of freezing of gait was assessed in the worst condition based on item-14 of the UPDRS-II at baseline and follow-up. The posture, instability, and gait-difficulty subscore of the UPDRS-III, and a gait test including quantification of freezing of gait and number of steps, were performed in both medication-off and medication-on conditions. RESULTS: Fifty-two percent in both groups had freezing of gait at baseline based on UPDRS-II. This proportion decreased in the stimulation group to 34%, but did not change in the best medical treatment group at 24 months (P = 0.018). The steps needed to complete the gait test decreased in the stimulation group and was superior to the best medical treatment group (P = 0.016). The axial signs improved in the stimulation group compared to the best medical treatment group (P < 0.01) in both medication-off and medication-on conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Within the first 2 years of DBS, freezing of gait and other axial signs improved in the medication-off condition compared to best medical treatment in these patients. (c) 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.