The posterior subthalamic area in the treatment of movement disorders: past, present, and future

Neurosurgery. 2009 Jun;64(6):1029-38; discussion 1038-42. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000345643.69486.BC.


The introduction of thalamotomy in 1954 led naturally to exploration of the underlying subthalamic area, with the development of such procedures as campotomy and subthalamotomy in the posterior subthalamic area. The most popular of these procedures was the subthalamotomy, which was performed in thousands of patients for various movement disorders. Today, in the deep brain stimulation (DBS) era, subthalamic nucleus DBS is the treatment of choice for Parkinson's disease, whereas thalamic and pallidal DBS are mainly used for nonparkinsonian tremor and dystonia, respectively. The interest in DBS in the posterior subthalamic area has been quite limited, however, with a total of 95 patients presented in 14 articles. During recent years, interest has increased, and promising results have been published concerning both Parkinson's disease and nonparkinsonian tremor. We reviewed the literature to investigate the development of surgery in the posterior subthalamic area from the lesional era to the present.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / history
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Movement Disorders* / history
  • Movement Disorders* / pathology
  • Movement Disorders* / therapy
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / history
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / trends
  • Subthalamus / physiology*
  • Subthalamus / surgery*