Pulse duration settings in subthalamic stimulation for Parkinson’s disease




Stimulation parameters in deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus for Parkinson’s disease (PD) are rarely tested in double-blind conditions. Evidence-based recommendations on optimal stimulator settings are needed. Results from the CUSTOM-DBS study are reported, comparing 2 pulse durations.


A total of 15 patients were programmed using a pulse width of 30 µs (test) or 60 µs (control). Efficacy and side-effect thresholds and unified PD rating scale (UPDRS) III were measured in meds-off (primary outcome). The therapeutic window was the difference between patients’ efficacy and side effect thresholds.


The therapeutic window was significantly larger at 30 µs than 60 µs (P = ·0009) and the efficacy (UPDRS III score) was noninferior (P = .00008).


Subthalamic neurostimulation at 30 µs versus 60 µs pulse width is equally effective on PD motor signs, is more energy efficient, and has less likelihood of stimulation-related side effects. © 2017 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


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