Cognitive sequelae of unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy

Arch Neurol. 1997 Aug;54(8):947-50. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1997.00550200015004.


Objective: To examine the cognitive sequelae of unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy.

Design: Single-group pretest and posttest methodologic assessment with baseline evaluation performed 1 to 2 days prior to surgery and follow-up conducted 3 months after pallidotomy.

Setting: Movement disorder clinic at a university medical center.

Patients: Fourteen patients (age range, 43-82 years) with Parkinson disease (average disease duration, 7.4 years).

Intervention: Unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy procedures were performed on the right (n=8) and left (n=6) side of the brain.

Main outcome measures: The protocol consisted of a range of neuropsychological instruments sensitive to subcortical dysfunction, including measures of bi-manual coordination, simple-complex reaction time, visual attention, naming, verbal fluency, learning, recognition memory, and problem solving.

Results: No significant deterioration in specific cognitive abilities was observed as a function of the procedure. Patients showed a significant improvement in motor coordination speed for both contralateral and ipsilateral upper extremities.

Conclusions: Stereotactic unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy is associated with minimal risk of adverse neuropsychological effects or cognitive decline. Additional research is warranted, with an increased sample size and extended follow-up, to assess any potential lateralized effects of the procedure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales