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Comment & Response
March 2015

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson Disease in Elderly Individuals—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(3):368. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.4219

In Reply We appreciate the constructive comments by Aquino et al and Ye and Norris regarding our study1 on the effect of advancing age on outcomes of deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. While DBS has evolved into a routine and effective therapy for patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD), consideration of DBS therapy for patients of advanced age is less likely owing to a number of factors including medical issues and the actual Parkinson symptoms being treated. Van Den Eeden and colleagues2 showed that the incidence of PD has the largest increase after age 70 years. Combined with an ever-increasing life span, there is a large and growing population of possible candidates for DBS for treatment of PD. This study was aimed at studying the differences in postoperative complications of this expanding elderly population and younger patients with PD. However, we do not underestimate the importance of the preoperative evaluation, especially in an elderly cohort.