Early deep brain stimulation benefits Parkinson’s disease

A two-year study of 243 patients who had the disease for 7.5 years, part-funded by DBS device-maker Medtronic, showed improvement in quality of life, motor skills and levodopa-induced complications, although there was a high rate of serious adverse events. 

Professor Peter Silburn, from the Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation, Queensland, said the results suggested best practice was to perform the surgery four to seven years into the condition, instead of waiting about 10 years or until medications stopped working. 

N Eng J Med 2013; online 14 Feb