2015 Volume 55 Issue 5 Pages 422-431
To date, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has already been performed on more than 120,000 patients worldwide and in more than 7,000 patients in Japan. However, fundamental understanding of DBS effects on the pathological neural circuitry remains insufficient. Recent studies have specifically shown the importance of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) loops, which were identified as functionally and anatomically discrete units. Three main circuits exist in the CSTC loops, namely, the motor, associative, and limbic circuits. From these theoretical backgrounds, it is determined that DBS sometimes influences not only motor functions but also the cognitive and affective functions of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. The main targets of DBS for PD are subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus interna (GPi). Ventralis intermedius (Vim)-DBS was found to be effective in improving tremor. However, Vim-DBS cannot sufficiently improve akinesia and rigidity. Therefore, Vim-DBS is seldom carried out for the treatment of PD. In this article, we review the present state of DBS, mainly STN-DBS and GPi-DBS, for PD. In the first part of the article, appropriate indications and practical effects established in previous studies are discussed. The findings of previous investigations on the complications caused by the surgical procedure and on the adverse events induced by DBS itself are reviewed. In the second part, we discuss target selection (GPi vs. STN) and the effect of DBS on nonmotor symptoms. In the final part, as issues that should be resolved, the suitable timing of surgery, symptoms unresponsive to DBS such as on-period axial symptoms, and the related postoperative programing of stimulation parameters, are discussed.