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November 1953

Parkinson's Disease and Its Surgical Treatment

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1953;70(5):686. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1953.02320350138017

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"There is at present no cure for Parkinson's disease, but in a small proportion of cases substantial improvement may be accomplished by surgery if great care is taken in the selection of patients. This account has been written chiefly to dispel exaggerated claims for surgery, but also at the same time to counteract prejudice, which tends to deprive some patients of relief from a most distressing malady."

The author has performed spinal pyramidotomy in 40 cases, performing a bilateral operation in 25 of them. The results were poor. He prefers a more radical operation, namely, complete section of the lateral column, which he has carried out in 14 cases, without a death and with uniformly satisfactory improvement. The complications have been similar to those seen after spinothalamic chordotomy, in addition with considerable loss of strength, usually temporary, in the homolateral extremity. The cortical and subcortical operations are frowned upon.