Cognition and Depression Following Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus and Globus Pallidus Pars Internus in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis

Hannah L. Combs, Bradley S. Folley, David T.R. Berry, Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Dong Y. Han, Amelia J. Anderson-Mooney, Brittany D. Walls, Craig van Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common, degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Individuals experience predominantly extrapyramidal symptoms including resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, gait abnormalities, cognitive impairment, depression, and neurobehavioral concerns. Cognitive impairments associated with PD are diverse, including difficulty with attention, processing speed, executive functioning, memory recall, visuospatial functions, word-retrieval, and naming. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or globus pallidus internus (GPi) is FDA approved and has been shown to be effective in reducing motor symptoms of PD. Studies have found that stimulating STN and GPi are equally effective at improving motor symptoms and dyskinesias; however, there has been discrepancy as to whether the cognitive, behavioral, and mood symptoms are affected differently between the two targets. The present study used random-effects meta-analytic models along with a novel p-curve analytic procedure to compare the potential cognitive and emotional impairments associated with STN-DBS in the current literature to those associated with GPi-DBS. Forty-one articles were reviewed with an aggregated sample size of 1622 patients. Following STN-DBS, small declines were found in psychomotor speed, memory, attention, executive functions, and overall cognition; and moderate declines were found in both semantic and phonemic fluency. However, GPi-DBS resulted in fewer neurocognitive declines than STN-DBS (small declines in attention and small-moderate declines in verbal fluency). With regards to its effect on depression symptomatology, both GPi-DBS and STN-DBS resulted in lower levels of depressive symptoms post-surgery. From a neurocognitive standpoint, both GPi-DBS and STN-DBS produce subtle cognitive declines but appears to be relatively well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-454
Number of pages16
JournalNeuropsychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Cognition
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Pallidal
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Subthalamic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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