Directional Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease: Results of an International Crossover Study With Randomized, Double-Blind Primary Endpoint

for the PROGRESS Study Investigators

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31 Scopus citations


Objective: Published reports on directional deep brain stimulation (DBS) have been limited to small, single-center investigations. Therapeutic window (TW) is used to describe the range of stimulation amplitudes achieving symptom relief without side effects. This crossover study performed a randomized double-blind assessment of TW for directional and omnidirectional DBS in a large cohort of patients implanted with a DBS system in the subthalamic nucleus for Parkinson's disease. Materials and Methods: Participants received omnidirectional stimulation for the first three months after initial study programming, followed by directional DBS for the following three months. The primary endpoint was a double-blind, randomized evaluation of TW for directional vs omnidirectional stimulation at three months after initial study programming. Additional data recorded at three- and six-month follow-ups included stimulation preference, therapeutic current strength, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III motor score, and quality of life. Results: The study enrolled 234 subjects (62 ± 8 years, 33% female). TW was wider using directional stimulation in 183 of 202 subjects (90.6%). The mean increase in TW with directional stimulation was 41% (2.98 ± 1.38 mA, compared to 2.11 ± 1.33 mA for omnidirectional). UPDRS part III motor score on medication improved 42.4% at three months (after three months of omnidirectional stimulation) and 43.3% at six months (after three months of directional stimulation) with stimulation on, compared to stimulation off. After six months, 52.8% of subjects blinded to stimulation type (102/193) preferred the period with directional stimulation, and 25.9% (50/193) preferred the omnidirectional period. The directional period was preferred by 58.5% of clinicians (113/193) vs 21.2% (41/193) who preferred the omnidirectional period. Conclusion: Directional stimulation yielded a wider TW compared to omnidirectional stimulation and was preferred by blinded subjects and clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Parkinson's disease
  • directional programming
  • therapeutic window

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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