Evaluation of Neurocognitive Changes in Parkinson's Disease After Low Frequency Burst Stimulation

  • End date
    Jan 11, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Southern California
Updated on 26 April 2022
brain stimulation
medication regimen


This study aims to determine whether direct brain stimulation of specific regions and ranges improves cognition in people with Parkinsons Disease (PD) who already have a deep brain stimulator implanted. Research activities consist of 32 subjects undergoing stimulation changes to their device and being administered neurocognitive tests to evaluate the changes. An fMRI scan will also be done at baseline and at weeks 15 and 27.

All subjects will undergo the stimulation changes in a randomized double blind crossover study. Evaluation of stimulation changes will be assessed through analysis of neurocognitive data.


In this single-center pilot study, the investigators will study both acute and chronic changes to neurocognitive and motor performance in response to interleaving gamma/theta (theta burst) stimulation compared to standard-of-care gamma stimulation.

This study will be a randomized double-blinded crossover study. Each patient's baseline voltage intensity will be unchanged. During the first outpatient visit, a baseline assessment (under baseline stimulation parameters, including frequency, pulse width and voltage) consisting of motor and cognitive tests will first be performed. After one week of titration on the theta burst stimulation paradigm, all patients will randomized to either baseline or theta burst stimulation settings for one week. Motor testing (UPDRS) and neuropsychological testing will be performed after this week. Each patient will then be programmed to the other stimulation paradigm for another week. At the end of this third week, neuropsychological and motor testing will again be performed.

Patients will again be randomized into either baseline gamma stimulation or theta burst stimulation for the chronic phase of the study. Repeat neuropsychological and motor testing will be performed at three months. Each patient will switched to the other stimulation strategy and repeat neuropsychological and motor testing will be performed after another three months. After the first 6 months, patients will be placed on open-label theta burst stimulation for 6 months (total of one year). At the end of one year, patients will undergo repeat neuropsychological and motor testing, after which they will be reprogrammed to their initial settings or given the option to remain on theta burst stimulation parameters. Functional magnetic resonance imaging will be acquired during baseline, week 15, and week 27 visits for patients with compatible devices that meet the inclusion criteria.

Condition Parkinson Disease
Treatment STN DBS - Theta Burst, STN DBS - Gamma
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05307055
SponsorUniversity of Southern California
Last Modified on26 April 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Male or female patients who had previously undergone bilateral STN deep brain stimulation implantation
Age >18 years old
Stable medication regimen for at least 3 months
Patient informed and able to give written consent
Able to comply with all testing, follow-ups and study appointments and protocols

Exclusion Criteria

History of epilepsy or seizure
History of dementia
History of major substance abuse
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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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