DBS and the non-motor symptoms of PD
The symptoms of Parkinson's disease fall into two groups:
- 'Motor' symptoms which are those that are directly to do with movement, including bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, and dyskinesias
- 'Non-motor' symptoms which include problems with speech and swallowing, cognitive impairment and hallucinations, depression and anxiety, delusions and impulse control disorders, sleep disturbance, and autonomic effects such as excess salivation, low blood pressure, constipation, and problems with bladder control
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a very well established treatment for the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease and its efficacy has been demonstrated in several clinical trials. In stark contrast to this success, the non-motor symptoms of PD are in general not helped by DBS. The effects of stimulation are unpredictable and usually small.
Our aim is to better understand why DBS fails to treat the non-motor features of PD. The hope is that this may open the door to the development of modified DBS treatments that can address some of these problems.
Copyright OFN Tuesday, 10 February, 2015.