Researchers Take a Longer Look at Surgical Procedure for Parkinson's
WebMD News Archive
Worth says that this report encourages physicians to continue
to recommend this procedure, especially to certain types of patients.
Pallidotomy is not a new procedure, and in fact, was one of
several procedures that were used as early as the 1950s to treat Parkinson's.
When medications became available, many of these surgeries were abandoned in
favor of the pharmaceutical treatment, but for some patients, surgery remains
the best option for symptom relief.
However, Gerald Silverberg, MD, a professor of neurosurgery at
Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., points out that newer procedures are
rapidly taking the place of pallidotomy. "This study is mainly of
historical interest, as therapy for advanced Parkinson's has moved away from
pallidotomy." He explains that a newer technique is coming into favor,
called deep brain stimulation, where a part of the brain is stimulated by a
kind of pacemaker -- like people have for their hearts -- that is implanted in
"This appears to be a safer and more effective treatment
for advanced Parkinson's, and most movement disorder clinics are using this
procedure now, rather than pallidotomy," says Silverberg, who was not
involved in the study.
The authors concur that the newer techniques may be safer for
some patients, or even can be combined with pallidotomy in specific cases. But
for selected patients with Parkinson's that does not respond to medication, the
authors maintain "pallidotomy is nevertheless a useful treatment."
To read more, visit WebMD's Diseases and Conditions Parkinson's page.
- Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder characterized by tremors,
problems with balance when walking and standing, rigidity, and a reduced amount
- Pallidotomy is a surgical procedure that can dramatically improve the
symptoms of Parkinson's disease at first, but some of these effects wear off
- A newer treatment for the disease is deep brain stimulation, which may be
safer and more effective than pallidotomy.