Cognitive Effects of Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease with GBA1 Pathogenic Variants

Gian D. Pal*, Daniel M. Corcos, Leo Verhagen Metman, Zvi Israel, Hagai Bergman, David Arkadir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Genetic subtyping of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) may assist in predicting the cognitive and motor outcomes of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS). Practical questions were recently raised with the emergence of new data regarding suboptimal cognitive outcomes after STN-DBS in individuals with PD associated with pathogenic variants in glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA1-PD). However, a variety of gaps and controversies remain. (1) Does STN-DBS truly accelerate cognitive deterioration in GBA1-PD? If so, what is the clinical significance of this acceleration? (2) How should the overall risk-to-benefit ratio of STN-DBS in GBA1-PD be established? (3) If STN-DBS has a negative effect on cognition in GBA1-PD, how can this effect be minimized? (4) Should PD patients be genetically tested before STN-DBS? (5) How should GBA1-PD patients considering STN-DBS be counseled? We aim to summarize the currently available relevant data and detail the gaps and controversies that exist pertaining to these questions. In the absence of evidence-based data, all authors strongly agree that clinicians should not categorically deny DBS to PD patients based solely on genotype (GBA1 status). We suggest that PD patients considering DBS may be offered genetic testing for GBA1, where available and feasible, so the potential risks and benefits of STN-DBS can be properly weighed by both the patient and clinician.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2155-2162
Number of pages8
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


  • Parkinson's disease
  • cognition
  • deep brain stimulation
  • glucocerebrosidase


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