The Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on Sleep and Olfactory Function in Parkinson’s Disease

David P Breen*, Hu Liang Low , Anjum Misbahuddin
Essex Centre for Neurological Sciences, Queen’s Hospital, Romford, UK

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© Breen et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Essex Centre for Neurological Sciences, Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, RM7 0AG, UK; Tel: 01708 435000; Fax: 01708 435538; Email:



Relatively little is known about the effects of deep brain stimulation on non-motor symptoms. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the impact of deep brain stimulation on sleep and olfactory function in Parkinson’s disease.


Subjective sleep quality and olfactory testing were performed on 11 consecutive Parkinson’s disease patients (eight men and three women) undergoing bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation. All patients consented to undergo clinical assessments prior to the procedure, and at regular intervals afterwards.


Subjective sleep quality improved at six months following deep brain stimulation and this benefit was sustained in the majority of patients at later follow-up assessments. There was no significant change in olfactory function following deep brain stimulation.


In addition to having beneficial effects on motor function and quality of life, bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation improves subjective sleep quality in Parkinson’s disease.

Keywords: Deep brain stimulation, sleep, olfaction, smell, Parkinson s disease.