Deep Brain Stimulation–Withdrawal Syndrome in Parkinson’s Disease: Risk Factors and Pathophysiological Hypotheses of a Life-Threatening Emergency - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Neuromodulation Year : 2022

Deep Brain Stimulation–Withdrawal Syndrome in Parkinson’s Disease: Risk Factors and Pathophysiological Hypotheses of a Life-Threatening Emergency

Abstract

Background and Objectives Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most common therapeutic surgical procedure for patients with Parkinson’s disease with motor fluctuations, dyskinesia, or tremor. Routine follow-up of patients allows clinicians to anticipate replacement of the DBS battery reaching the end of its life. Patients who experience a sudden stop of the DBS battery experience a rapid worsening of symptoms unresponsive to high dose of levodopa, in a life-threatening phenomenon called “DBS-withdrawal syndrome.” In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which many surgeries are being deprogrammed, it is of utmost importance to determine to what extent DBS battery replacement surgeries should be considered an emergency. In this study, we attempt to identify risk factors of DBS-withdrawal syndrome and provide new insights about pathophysiological hypotheses. We then elaborate on the optimal approach to avoid and manage such a situation. Materials and Methods We conducted a systematic review of the literature on the subject and reported the cases of 20 patients (including five from our experience) with DBS-withdrawal syndrome, comparing them with 15 undisturbed patients (including three from our experience), all having undergone neurostimulation discontinuation. Results A long disease duration at battery removal and many years of DBS therapy are the main potential identified risk factors (p < 0.005). In addition, a trend for older age at the event and higher Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale motor score before initial DBS implantation (evaluated in OFF-drug condition) was found (p < 0.05). We discuss several hypotheses that might explain this phenomenon, including discontinued functioning of the thalamic-basal ganglia loop due to DBS-stimulation cessation in a context in which cortical-basal ganglia loop had lost its cortical input, and possible onset of a severe bradykinesia through the simultaneous occurrence of an alpha and high-beta synchronized state. Conclusions The patients’ clinical condition may deteriorate rapidly, be unresponsive to high dose of levodopa, and become life-threatening. Hospitalization is suggested for clinical monitoring. In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to widely communicate the replacement of DBS batteries reaching the end of their life. More importantly, in cases in which the battery has stopped, there should be no delay in performing replacement as an emergent surgery.
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Dates and versions

hal-03963525 , version 1 (23-04-2024)

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Stephan Grimaldi, Alexandre Eusebio, Romain Carron, Jean-Marie Regis, Lionel Velly, et al.. Deep Brain Stimulation–Withdrawal Syndrome in Parkinson’s Disease: Risk Factors and Pathophysiological Hypotheses of a Life-Threatening Emergency. Neuromodulation, 2022, 26 (2), pp.424-434. ⟨10.1016/j.neurom.2022.09.008⟩. ⟨hal-03963525⟩
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