Study Finds Modest Survival Increase in Parkinson’s Patients Who Receive Deep Brain Stimulation Interview with:
Dr. Frances M. Weaver PhD
Hines VA Hospital
Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare
Hines, IL 60141 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Research has shown that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s disease (PD) improves motor function and this improvement is sustained. There is also improvement in quality of life after DBS. However, it is not known whether DBS also effects survival. A few studies that have examined survival have had mixed results.

In the current study we compared survival for a large cohort of persons with Parkinson’s disease who underwent DBS to a match group of persons with PD who were managed medically.

We found a modest improvement in survival for persons with Parkinson’s disease who underwent DBS compared to individuals who did not. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The results should be viewed cautiously as the data examined were from administrative data files and we did not have information on severity of Parkinson’s disease or other characteristics that could also influence survival. It is possible that the deep brain stimulation and medical managed groups could have differed on unmeasured factors that also affect survival. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: A prospective study that includes details about the severity of Parkinson’s disease and measures of motor function and quality of life as factors that could influence survival in addition to whether or not the person underwent deep brain stimulation could further validate the findings from the current study. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Support for the study was provided by the Medtronic Brain Modulation business, which is part of its Restorative Therapies Group, however, they were not involved in analysis of the data. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Weaver, F. M., Stroupe, K. T., Smith, B., Gonzalez, B., Huo, Z., Cao, L., Ippolito, D. and Follett, K. A. (2017), Survival in patients with Parkinson’s disease after deep brain stimulation or medical management. Mov Disord., 32: 1756–1763. doi:10.1002/mds.27235

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


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Last Updated on January 2, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD