Who's a suitable candidate for DBS

Who is suitable for DBS?

I am aware that 70ish can be a threshold for DBS though I think it still is done sometimes. Also aware that you need to respond well to Levodopa as this is an indicator that you will respond most likely to DBS.

And they look also for signs of ‘cognitive decline’ as this may preclude you from DBS.
Whilst as a 65year old I forget names sometimes I don’t believe I have declined mentally but my mental state is different when I’m OFF from when i’m ON. When i’m ON (ie:meds working) my brain works pretty well I think but when OFF (ie:end of dose dip) I get so preoccupied with the difficulty of being OFF , sluggish,stiff,shaking that I find it hard to think
clearly… so i’m so distracted by difficult symptoms that I don’t think very clearly.

So my question is…
Do they mean that your ‘cognition’ should be OK even when you are at an end of dose OFF period or are they talking about when you’re ON your cognition should be OK?

thx Ojalahey

Hi OjalaHey,

I’m sure there are people on the forum who have experiences they can share with you, but I also wanted to comment with some information that might be helpful. We have a page with some general information on DBS, which also has our helpline contact details, as well as a link to further details on considering deep brain stimulation- https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/deep-brain-stimulation.

Our helpline will be able to give you some advice and help you with the questions you have, as they are quite detailed and it might be better for you to have a chat with a specialist about any concerns you might have.

I hope this helps, and best wishes to you.
Moderation team.

Is there a cut off age for DBS? My neurologist has mentioned it as an option for me in the future, but I am 67 now and I find it hard to believe I will be offered the operation once I am into my 70s.

What you hear is 70 as a guideline… not a rule but seems to be a common view.

Also worth noting that from the moment you are put forward for it it is about a year b4 u get thru the process ie:op done.

Also other big things like Apomorphine and Duodopa are not to my knowledge time restricted so I would argue DBS would best be the 1st of those… imho !

rgds Ojalahey


I looked at the link to dbs and under the heading ‘How is … assessed…’ and within that Part 2 (copied below) it mentions thinking/cognition etc: what i would like to know is do they test you when you are medicated and ON or when you are OFF?

Thx Ojalahey

Part two

The second part of the process involves an assessment of your attention, memory, mood and behaviour. Problems with attention and memory affect many people with Parkinson’s, but they affect different people in different ways.

Studies have shown that deep brain stimulation works best for people who have no, or very mild, memory and thinking problems.

You will be asked to complete cognitive tests to give the surgical team an idea of any thinking difficulties you have and to find out what your cognitive abilities are before surgery. These require concentration and can be tiring, but you will have short breaks throughout.