ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) leads to clinical benefit in Parkinson's disease (PD), especially with regard to dopaminergic transmission, remain unclear. Therefore, the objective of our study was to evaluate alterations of synaptic dopaminergic signaling following bilateral STN-DBS in advanced PD within a one-year follow-up. We used [(123)I]FP-CIT single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to measure dopamine transporter (DAT) availability and [(123)I]IBZM SPECT to assess dopamine D(2) receptor (D2R) availability (stimulator ON condition).Patients (n=18) showed a tendency towards a better suppression of symptoms after STN-DBS (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor score with medication decreased from 24.1+/-16.1 to 15.4+/-7.45; p=0. 002) while medication was strongly reduced (61% reduction of levodopa equivalent units; p<0. 0001). No changes of striatal [(123)I]FP-CIT binding and an increase of [(123)I]IBZM binding up to 16% (p<0. 05) between pre-surgery and follow-up investigations were noticed. These data show that clinical improvement and reduction of dopaminergic drugs in patients with advanced PD undergoing bilateral STN-DBS are paralleled by stable DAT and recovery of striatal D2R availability 12 months after surgery.
Journal of Neurology 06/2008; 255(7):1059-66. · 3.47 Impact Factor
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. in press.