Combined (thalamotomy and stimulation) stereotactic surgery of the VIM thalamic nucleus for bilateral Parkinson disease

Appl Neurophysiol. 1987;50(1-6):344-6. doi: 10.1159/000100803.


Stereotactic thalamotomy of the thalamic nucleus ventralis intermedius (VIM) is routinely used for movement disorders. During this procedure, it has been observed that high-frequency (100 Hz) stimulation of VIM was able to stop the extrapyramidal tremor. In patients with bilateral tremor of extrapyramidal origin, who were resistant to drug therapy, the therapeutic protocol associated (1) a radiofrequency VIM thalamotomy for the most disabled side, and (2) a continuous VIM stimulation for the other side using stereotactically implanted electrodes, connected to subcutaneous stimulators. VIM thalamotomy relieved the tremor in all operated cases. Side effects were mild and regressive. VIM stimulation strongly decreased the tremor but failed to suppress it as completely as thalamotomy did. This was due in part to the fact that programmable stimulator frequency rate is limited to 130 Hz, while it appeared that the optimal stimulation frequency was 200 Hz. This therapeutic protocol appears to be of interest for patients with bilateral extrapyramidal movement disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / surgery*
  • Tremor / surgery
  • Tremor / therapy