The effects of deep brain stimulation on sleep in Parkinson’s disease

Academic Article


  • Sleep dysfunction is a common nonmotor symptom experienced by patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Symptoms, including excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep fragmentation, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder and others, can significantly affect quality of life and daytime functioning in these patients. Recent studies have evaluated the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) at various targets on sleep in patients with advanced PD. Several of these studies have provided evidence that subthalamic nucleus DBS improves subjective and objective measures of sleep, including sleep efficiency, nocturnal mobility, and wake after sleep onset (minutes spent awake after initial sleep onset). Although fewer studies have investigated the effects of bilateral internal globus pallidus and thalamic ventral intermedius DBS on sleep, pallidal stimulation does appear to improve subjective sleep quality. Stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus has recently been proposed for selected patients with advanced PD to treat severe gait and postural dysfunction. Owing to the role of the pedunculopontine nucleus in modulating behavioral state, the impact of stimulation at this target on sleep has also been evaluated in a small number of patients, showing that pedunculopontine nucleus DBS increases REM sleep. In this review, we discuss the effects of stimulation at these various targets on sleep in patients with PD. Studying the effects of DBS on sleep can enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of sleep disorders, provide strategies for optimizing clinical benefit from DBS, and may eventually guide novel therapies for sleep dysfunction. © 2011, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Amara AW; Watts RL; Walker HC
  • Start Page

  • 15
  • End Page

  • 24
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 1