Bilateral pallidotomy for treatment of Parkinson's disease induced corticobulbar syndrome and psychic akinesia avoidable by globus pallidus lesion combined with contralateral stimulation
- aMovement Disorders Section, Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research (FLENI), Montañeses 2325, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina, bDepartment of Neurology, cDepartment of Neuropsychiatry
- Dr M Merello
- Received 22 January 2001
- Revised 18 June 2001
- Accepted 6 July 2001
OBJECTIVE Posteroventral pallidotomy (PVP) has proved to be an effective method for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, data on bilateral procedures are still limited. To assess the effects of bilateral globus pallidus (GPi) lesion and to compare it with a combination of unilateral GPi lesion plus contralateral GPi stimulation (PVP+PVS), an open blind randomised trial was designed.
METHODS A prospective series of patients with severe Parkinson's disease refractory to medical treatment, and severe drug induced dyskinesias, were randomised either to simultaneous bilateral PVP or simultaneous PVP+PVS. All patients were assessed with the core assessment programme for intracerebral transplantation (CAPIT), and a comprehensive neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric battery both before surgery and 3 months later.
RESULTS The severe adverse effects found in the first three patients subjected to bilateral PVP led to discontinuation of the protocol. All three patients developed depression and apathy. Speech, salivation, and swallowing, as well as freezing, walking, and falling, dramatically worsened. By contrast, all three patients undergoing PVP+PVS had a significant motor improvement.
CONCLUSION Bilateral simultaneous lesions within the GPi may produce severe motor and psychiatric complications. On the other hand, a combination of PVP+ PVS significantly improves parkinsonian symptoms not associated with the side effects elicited by bilateral lesions.