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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7163801, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Stage Parkinson’s Disease Is Not Associated with Increased Body Mass Index

Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1611 21st Ave S., A-0118 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37223-2551, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to David Charles; ude.tlibrednav@selrahc.divad

Received 24 February 2017; Accepted 30 April 2017; Published 6 June 2017

Academic Editor: Raja Mehanna

Copyright © 2017 Sarah H. Millan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies suggest that deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) for Parkinson’s disease (PD) leads to weight gain. This study analyzes changes in body mass index (BMI) in 29 subjects from a prospective, single-blind trial of DBS in early stage PD (age 50–75, Hoehn & Yahr stage II off medication, treated with antiparkinsonian medications for ≥6 months but <4 years, and without a history of motor fluctuations, dyskinesias, or dementia). Subjects were randomized to DBS plus optimal drug therapy (DBS+ODT; ) or ODT () and followed for 24 months. Weight and height were recorded at baseline and each follow-up visit and used to calculate BMI. BMIs were compared within and between groups using nonparametric -tests. Mean BMI at baseline was 29.7 in the ODT group and 32.3 in the DBS+ODT group (). BMI change over two years was not different between the groups (, ODT = −0.89; DBS+ODT = −0.17). This study suggests that STN-DBS is not associated with weight gain in subjects with early stage PD. This finding will be tested in an upcoming FDA-approved phase III multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pivotal clinical trial evaluating DBS in early stage PD ( identifier NCT00282152).