Neuropsychological sequelae of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease: A critical review

Steven Paul Woods, Julie A. Fields, Alexander I. Tröster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Neuropsychologists are increasingly involved in surgical candidacy evaluations and postoperative neurobehavioral assessments of patients with movement disorders, most notably those with Parkinson's disease (PD). We review here the initial studies regarding neuropsychological outcomes of deep brain stimulation (DBS) within the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for treatment of PD. Overall, these initial investigations provide preliminary support for the cognitive and neurobehavioral safety of STN DBS. Improvements in self-reported symptoms of depression and diminished verbal fluency were the most common findings, whereas changes in global cognitive abilities, memory, attention, and frontal/executive functions were inconsistent and most often described as nominal and/or transient. The generalizability of this literature is hindered by several methodological limitations, including small samples and the absence of appropriate control participants. The clinical and theoretical implications of these initial studies are highlighted and recommendations are offered to guide future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalNeuropsychology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Neuropsychology
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Review
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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