Impaired frontostriatal cognitive functioning following posteroventral pallidotomy in advanced Parkinson's disease

Brain Cogn. 2000 Apr;42(3):348-63. doi: 10.1006/brcg.1999.1109.


We investigated the long-term effects of posteroventral pallidotomy on tests sensitive to the functional integrity of frontostriatal neural systems in a sample of 11 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). Patients were assessed within 1 month prior to surgery and at 12 months following pallidotomy. Changes in outcome measures were compared to a control sample of equally performing PD patients receiving nonsurgical medical management assessed over a 12-month period. Measures of cognitive abilities sensitive to frontostriatal functional integrity tested psychomotor processing speed, executive components of working memory, and reasoning. Additional tests of general mental status and semantic memory ability were utilized to assess the specificity of the effect of pallidotomy on cognitive function. Significant declines in performance on all measures sensitive to frontostriatal integrity were found for the surgery group but not the PD control group. No significant changes in performance were found on the measures of general mental status or semantic memory for either the surgery or PD control samples. These results suggest that the posteroventral pallidotomy selectively impairs performance on tests of frontostriatal cognitive abilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventral Thalamic Nuclei / surgery*