A randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial evaluated the results of 6 patients with Parkinson disease dementia who were treated with NBM DBS at a neurosurgical referral center in the United Kingdom from October 26, 2012, to July 31, 2015. Eligible patients met the diagnostic criteria for Parkinson disease dementia, had motor fluctuations, were appropriate surgical candidates aside from the coexistence of dementia, were age 35 to 80 years, were able to give informed consent, had a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 21 to 26, had minimal atrophy seen on results of brain magnetic resonance imaging, and lived at home with a caregiver-informant.
INTERVENTIONS: After surgery, patients were assigned to receive either active stimulation (bilateral, low-frequency [20 Hz] NBM DBS) or sham stimulation for 6 weeks, followed by the opposite condition for 6 weeks.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the difference in scores on each item of an abbreviated cognitive battery (California Verbal Learning Test-II, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III digit span, verbal fluency, Posner covert attention test, and simple and choice reaction times) between the 2 conditions. Secondary outcomes were exploratory and included differences in scores on standardized measurements of cognitive, psychiatric, and motor symptoms and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging.
RESULTS: Surgery and stimulation were well tolerated by all 6 patients (all men; mean [SD] age, 65.2 [10.7] years), with no serious adverse events during the trial. No consistent improvements were observed in the primary cognitive outcomes or in results of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. An improvement in scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory was observed with NBM DBS (8.5 points [range, 4-26 points]) compared with sham stimulation (12 points [range, 8-38 points]; median difference, 5 points; 95% CI, 2.5-8.5 points; P = .03) and the preoperative baseline (13 points [range, 5-25 points]; median difference, 2 points; 95% CI, -8 to 5.5 points; P = .69).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Low-frequency NBM DBS was safely conducted in patients with Parkinson disease dementia; however, no improvements were observed in the primary cognitive outcomes. Further studies may be warranted to explore its potential to improve troublesome neuropsychiatric symptoms 1)
Six patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) treated with bilateral low-frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM). During a four-week double-blind sham-controlled phase and a subsequent 11-month follow-up open label period, clinical outcome was assessed by neuropsychological examination using the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale as the primary outcome measure. Electroencephalography and [(18)F]-fluoro-desoxyglucose positron emission tomography were, besides others, secondary endpoints. On the basis of stable or improved primary outcome parameters twelve months after surgery, four of the six patients were considered responders. No severe or non-transitional side effects related to the stimulation were observed. Taking into account all limitations of a pilot study, we conclude that DBS of the NBM is both technically feasible and well tolerated 2).