Abstract|Movement Disorders 2| Volume 357, SUPPLEMENT 1, e54, October 15, 2015

Can bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation reserve working abilities in Parkinson's disease?

      Objectives: There is a debate on the potential advantageous effects of bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of Parkinson's disease with early fluctuations. Our investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities.
      Materials & methods: We reviewed the data of 40 young (<60 year-old) PD patients who underwent DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had an at least 2 years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities at time of surgery: ‘Active job’ group (n = 20) and ‘No job’ group (n = 20). Baseline characteristics were comparable. Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS-3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively.
      Results: Although similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in the severity of motor and major non-motor symptoms in both groups, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the ‘Active job’ group (0.687 vs. 0.587, medians, p < 0.05). Majority (80%) of ‘Active job’ group members were able to preserve their job 2 years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (5%) of the ‘No job’ group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p < 0.01).
      Conclusions: Although our study has several limitations, our results suggest that in patients with active job the appropriately ‘early’ usage of DBS might help preserve working abilities in a two-year time-frame and gain higher improvement in quality of life.