Seventy years with the globus pallidus: Pallidal surgery for movement disorders between 1947 and 2017.

Mov Disord. 2017 Jun 7. doi: 10.1002/mds.27054. [Epub ahead of print]

Seventy years with the globus pallidus: Pallidal surgery for movement disorders between 1947 and 2017.

Cif L1,2, Hariz M3,4.


The year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of human stereotactic neurosurgery. The first procedure was a pallidotomy for Huntington’s disease. However, it was for Parkinson’s disease that pallidotomy was soon adopted worldwide. Pallidotomy was abandoned in the late 1950s in favor of thalamotomy because of the latter’s more striking effect on tremor. The advent of levodopa put a halt to all surgery for PD. In the mid-1980s, Laitinen reintroduced the posteroventral pallidotomy of Leksell, and this procedure spread worldwide thanks to its efficacy on most parkinsonian symptoms including levodopa-induced dyskinesias and thanks to basic scientific work confirming the role of the globus pallidus internus in the pathophysiology of PD. With the advent of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, pallidotomy was again abandoned, and even DBS of the GPi has been overshadowed by STN DBS. The GPi reemerged in the late 1990s as a major stereotactic target for DBS in dystonia and, recently, in Tourette syndrome. Lately, lesioning of the GPI is being proposed to treat refractory status dystonicus or to treat DBS withdrawal syndrome in PD patients. Hence, the pallidum as a stereotactic target for either lesioning or DBS has been the phoenix of functional stereotactic neurosurgery, constantly abandoned and then rising again from its ashes. This review is a tribute to the pallidum on its 70th anniversary as a surgical target for movement disorders, analyzing its ebbs and flows and highlighting its merits, its versatility, and its resilience. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


Parkinson’s disease; deep brain stimulation; dystonia; globus pallidus; pallidotomy; pallidum



Neurosurgery from Brazil.To provide neurosurgeouns with the most timely comprehensive and relevant clinical information to improve patient care; we offer a web site where patients can view our patient-level information for free

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: