Treatment of advanced parkinson's disease by unilateral posterior GPi pallidotomy: 4-year results of a pilot study

Mark S. Baron, Jerrold L. Vitek, Roy A.E. Bakay, Joanne Green, William M. McDonald, Steven A. Cole, Mahlon R. DeLong

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89 Scopus citations


To assess the long-term outcome following unilateral pallidotomy for advanced Parkinson's disease, we performed nonblinded Core Assessment Program for Intracerebral Transplantations protocol assessments in 10 of the original 15 patients in our pilot study for 4 years following surgery. Although Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor examination scores returned to baseline levels at 3 and 4 years, most patients continued to show sustained improvements in contralateral tremor, akinesia, and drug-induced dyskinesias. Contralateral tremor was absent at 4 years in all seven patients with preoperative tremor. Contralateral 'off' arm movement times (averaged for three tasks) decreased by 37% at 1 year and by 30% at 4 years. Contralateral dyskinesia scores improved by 82% at 1 year and by 64% at 4 years. In contrast, after reaching speeds equal to the contralateral side at 1 year, ipsilateral 'of' movement times increased by 13% over baseline levels at 4 years. Although most gait and postural stability measures showed modest initial improvement followed by a return to baseline values, 'on' stand-walk-sit task performance declined significantly at 4 years. Despite the restriction of our surgeries to one side and the expected natural progression of Parkinssn's disease, the results of patient self-assessments suggest that 4 years after unilateral pallidotomy, most patients continue to experience a quality of life above preoperative levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Pallidotomy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stereotaxic surgery


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