Deep Brain Stimulation Helpful For Some Visual Hallucinations Interview with:

Dr. Foltynie

Dr. Foltynie

Thomas Foltynie MD PhD
Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist
Unit of Functional Neurosurgery Institute of Neurology and
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
University College London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Stimulation of the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert can enhance cholinergic innervation of the cortex in animal models and has been previously reported to have beneficial cognitive effects in a single patient with Parkinson’s Disease dementia.

In this double blind crossover trial, six patients with Parkinson’s Disease underwent low frequency stimulation to the NBM bilaterally.  While there were no consistent objective improvements in cognitive performance, there was a marked reduction in visual hallucinations in two of the participants. . What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Deep Brain Stimulation can be safely performed in well selected patients with cognitive impairment provided meticulous attention to safe surgical technique is followed.

While there was little evidence of any beneficial effects on global cognition, in this small sample of patients, visual hallucinations reduced with NBM DBS switched on. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This study supports the further exploration of NBM DBS in patients with disabling, treatment refractory visual hallucinations. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


James Gratwicke, Ludvic Zrinzo, Joshua Kahan, Amy Peters, Mazda Beigi, Harith Akram, Jonathan Hyam, Ashwini Oswal, Brian Day, Laura Mancini, John Thornton, Tarek Yousry, Patricia Limousin, Marwan Hariz, Marjan Jahanshahi, Thomas Foltynie. Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert for Parkinson Disease DementiaA Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA Neurol. Published online December 18, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3762

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


[wysija_form id=”1″]