INTRODUCTION While the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson's Disease (PD) are not yet fully understood, DBS appears to exert a wide range of neurochemical effects on the network level, thought to arise from activation of inhibitory and excitatory pathways. The activity within the primary inhibitory (GABAergic) and excitatory (glutamatergic) neurotransmitter systems may therefore play an important role in the therapeutic efficacy of DBS in PD. The purpose of this study was to investigate abnormalities in GABA-ergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in PD, and to examine the link between neurotransmitter levels and outcome following DBS. METHODS Magnetic resonance spectra were acquired from the pons and basal ganglia in sixteen patients with PD and sixteen matched control participants. GABA and glutamate levels were quantified with LCModel, an automated spectral fitting package. Fourteen patients subsequently underwent DBS, and PD symptoms were evaluated with the MDS-UPDRS at baseline and six months after surgery. The efficacy of DBS treatment was evaluated from the percentage improvement in MDS-UPDRS scores. RESULTS Basal ganglia GABA levels were significantly higher in PD patients relative to control participants (p < 0.01), while pontine glutamate + glutamine (Glx) levels were significantly lower in patients with PD (p < 0.05). While GABA levels were not significantly related to outcome post-surgery, basal ganglia glutamate levels emerged as a significant predictor of outcome, suggesting a possible role for glutamatergic neurotransmission in the therapeutic mechanism of DBS. CONCLUSION GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission is altered in PD, and glutamatergic activity in particular may influence outcome post-surgery.