Surgery cannot cure Parkinson disease. It may be done to ease symptoms in people who are not helped by other treatments.
Thalamotomy is surgery to destroy part of the thalamus. This is the part of the brain that helps with movement. This may ease tremors. Surgery is done using heat or highly focused beams of radiation.
Pallidotomy is surgery to destroy the globus pallidus. This is another part of the brain that helps with movement. This may ease tremors and stiffness. It may also improve movement. Surgery is done using heat or highly focused beams of radiation.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Thalamotomy and pallidotomy are not as common due to the risk of side effects. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is more common.
DBS surgery places electrodes in parts of the brain. They are connected to a device that is attached to the chest. A small, handheld magnet can be passed over it to turn it on and off. When the device is activated, it sends electrical signals to block the signals that trigger symptoms.
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Parkinson's disease. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/en/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Parkinsons%20Disease.aspx. Accessed February 24, 2020.
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Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 1/27/2021