Neurosurgical Review

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 27–35 | Cite as

Spinal cord stimulation for Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review

  • Emerson Magno de Andrade
  • Maria Gabriela Ghilardi
  • Rubens Gisbert Cury
  • Egberto Reis Barbosa
  • Romulo Fuentes
  • Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira
  • Erich Talamoni Fonoff


Axial symptoms are a late-developing phenomenon in the course of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and represent a therapeutic challenge given their poor response to levodopa therapy and deep brain stimulation. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) may be a new therapeutic approach for the alleviation of levodopa-resistant motor symptoms of PD. Our purpose was to systematically review the effectiveness of SCS for the treatment of motor symptoms of PD and to evaluate the technical and pathophysiological mechanisms that may influence the outcome efficacy of SCS. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using electronic databases for the period from January 1966 through April 2014. The methodology utilized in this work follows a review process derived from evidence-based systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials described in the PRISMA statement. Reports examining SCS for the treatment of PD are limited. Eight studies with a total of 24 patients were included in this review. The overall motor score of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale in the on/off-stimulation condition remained unchanged in 6 patients and improved in 18 patients after SCS. SCS appears to yield positive results for PD symptoms, especially for impairments in gait function and postural stability. However, evidence is limited and long-term prospective studies will be required to identify the optimal candidates for SCS and the best parameters of stimulation and to fully characterize the effects of stimulation on motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD.


Parkinson’s disease Spinal cord stimulation Dorsal column Gait function 


Conflict of interests

The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emerson Magno de Andrade
    • 1
  • Maria Gabriela Ghilardi
    • 1
  • Rubens Gisbert Cury
    • 1
    • 2
  • Egberto Reis Barbosa
    • 2
  • Romulo Fuentes
    • 3
  • Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Erich Talamoni Fonoff
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Functional Neurosurgery, Department of NeurologyUniversity of São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP)Sao PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal (ELS-IINN)NatalBrazil

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