Comparison of Parkinson’s Disease Patients’ Characteristics by Indication for Deep Brain Stimulation: Men Are More Likely to Have DBS for Tremor

  • W. Alex Dalrymple
  • Antonia Pusso
  • Scott A. Sperling
  • Joseph L. Flanigan
  • Diane S. Huss
  • Madaline B. Harrison
  • W. Jeffrey Elias
  • Binit B. Shah
  • Matthew J. Barrett


Background: We investigated whether the characteristics of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients differ based on the primary indication for deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Methods: We reviewed data for 149 consecutive PD patients who underwent DBS at the University of Virginia. Patients were categorized based on primary surgical indication, and clinical characteristics were compared between groups.

Results: Twenty-nine (93.5%) of 31 PD patients who underwent DBS for medication refractory tremor were men, and 66 (62.3%) of 106 PD patients who underwent DBS for motor fluctuations were men (p = 0.001). Other primary indications for DBS were tremor and fluctuations (n = 5), medication intolerance (n = 5), and dystonia (n = 2).

Discussion: Patients who underwent DBS for medication refractory tremor were predominantly men, while patients who had DBS for motor fluctuations approximated the gender distribution of PD. Possible explanations are that men with PD are more likely to develop medication refractory tremor or undergo surgery for medication refractory tremor in PD compared to women.

Keywords: Deep brain stimulation, Parkinson's disease, gender, tremor, motor fluctuations

Citation: Dalrymple WA, Pusso A, Sperling SA, Flanigan JL, Huss DS, Harrison MB, et al. Comparison of Parkinson’s disease patient characteristics by indication for deep brain stimulation: men are more likely to have DBS for tremor. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. 2019; 9. doi: 10.7916/tohm.v0.676