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Role of surgery in the treatment of motor complications



When medications no longer provide patients with Parkinson's disease a reasonable quality of life due to the presence of levodopa-associated motor fluctuations and dyskinesias, surgical treatment is often pursued. Numerous studies have examined the antiparkinsonian efficacy of procedures currently available, but surprisingly few studies have evaluated their effect on motor response complications in a systematic, controlled manner, using appropriate instruments. Nonetheless, the combined evidence from uncontrolled case series and more recent randomized controlled trials reviewed here indicates that unilateral pallidotomy, bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation, and bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation all substantially alleviate levodopa-induced dyskinesias and, to a lesser extent, motor fluctuations. Incorporation of standardized, validated instruments for the quantification of motor response complications in future surgical study protocols will not only allow more accurate comparison of different interventions but also will help physicians select the most appropriate procedure for their patients. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society