Posteroventral medial pallidotomy in Parkinson's disease

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There has been a resurgence in the use of functional neurosurgery for Parkinson's disease. An important factor that has played a role in this development is the recent understanding of the functional anatomy of the basal ganglia including a knowledge of the changes in the activities of neurons in the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in Parkinson's disease as well as the knowledge of the presence of segregated functional loops within the basal ganglia which include a sensory-motor loop that involves the posteromedial globus pallidus rather than the anterior GPi where earlier pallidotomy lesions had been made. Laitinen reintroduced the modern posteroventral medial pallidotomy (PVMP) in 1992. Since then it has become clear that this treatment has major effects on levodopa-induced dyskinesias and, unlike Vim thalamotomy, improves bradykinesia and rigidity as well as tremor. In this report, we review a number of topics related to PVMP including the clinical results of pallidotomy available in the literature as well as an update of our own 2 year follow-up data, studies evaluating factors that might predict the subsequent response to pallidotomy, the neuropsychological effects of the procedure, results of imaging studies including the correlation of clinical effects with lesion location, the question of bilateral pallidotomy and pallidotomy combined with deep brain stimulation and finally whether PVMP is effective in other parkinsonian disorders.

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