Five-year follow-up of unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy in Parkinson's disease

Adriana M. Strutt, Eugene C. Lai, Joseph Jankovic, Farah Atassi, Elizabeth M. Soety, Harvey S. Levin, Robert G. Grossman, Michele K. York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Neurocognitive outcome research of individuals with Parkinson's disease after unilateral pallidotomy is inconsistent. Although some studies reported few cognitive changes, other investigations have more consistently shown both transient and long-term cognitive decline postoperatively. Methods: We report the long-term motor and neurocognitive outcome 5 years post surgery for 18 patients with Parkinson's disease (12 men and 6 woman; all right-handed) who underwent right or left unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy. Results: Pallidotomy patients revealed long-term motor benefits from the surgery in their "off" state and control of dopa-induced dyskinesias in their "on" state, which is consistent with previous research. We found mild declines in oral and visuomotor information processing speed, verbal recognition memory, and mental status 5 years after surgery, which differs from previous literature regarding the long-term neurocognitive outcome after pallidotomy. Differences between the right and left pallidotomy patients for both motor and cognitive skills were not found. Conclusion: Although deep brain stimulation is presently the treatment of choice, pallidotomy continues to be performed around the world. Consequently, although unilateral pallidotomy should be considered a treatment option for patients with Parkinson's disease who suffer from severe unilateral disabling motor symptoms or dyskinesias, the long-term neurocognitive outcome should also be considered in treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Cognition
  • Neuropsychology
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Posteroventral pallidotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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