What happened to VIM thalamotomy for Parkinson's disease?

Appl Neurophysiol. 1983;46(1-4):68-83. doi: 10.1159/000101245.


A prospective review of 75 of 190 parkinsonian patients undergoing unilateral thalamotomy was displayed with a computer graphics technique examining three equal consecutive groups from the pre-, early, and late L-dopa eras. Histograms for average function and scattergrams of individual patient's performance preoperatively and up to 2 years postoperatively were prepared. No ipsilateral effects or consistent iatrogenic deterioration of any function were identified. 2 years after surgery, 82% had no tremor in the contralateral fingers or hand and 7% had almost no tremor; contralateral tremor elsewhere was infrequent. Rigidity and manual dexterity improved less strikingly, the latter only reflecting abolition of tremor; locomotion, speech, facial movement and handwriting did not improve. There was no mortality, but 8% had persistent significant complications. VIM thalamotomy remains the treatment of choice for severe drug-resistant parkinsonian tremor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills
  • Muscle Rigidity / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Thalamus / surgery*
  • Tremor / diagnosis