Dyskinesias and the subthalamic nucleus.Ann Neurol. 2000 Apr; 47(4 Suppl 1):S189-92.AN
Severe dyskinesias or ballism can occur following hemorrhagic events in the subthalamic nucleus (STN), and it has recently been established that the STN plays a major role in the pathophysiology of the motor dysfunction of Parkinson's disease (PD) and that STN inhibition improves parkinsonian dysfunction. Deep brain stimulation of the STN in PD patients is therefore currently being evaluated as a therapy. High-frequency stimulation of the STN in PD patients can induce intense dyskinesias that are similar to those induced by levodopa. These may occur with a variable latency and resemble all types of levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs). They can be decreased by reducing the levodopa dosage, which is permitted by the antiparkinsonian effect of stimulating the STN. STN stimulation has been shown to improve all types of LIDs, with the most dramatic effect being that on off-period dystonia. The improvement in LIDs may relate to the decrease in drug dosage, while the off-period dystonia is likely improved by the simultaneous administration of levodopa and STN stimulation. It is thought that the STN is an important node in a network, which can produce dyskinesias when disturbed by a lesion, and is particularly sensitive for the induction of these abnormal movements.