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  • Author or Editor: Christopher R. Honey x
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Jason A. R. Carr, Christopher R. Honey, Marci Sinden, Anthony G. Phillips and Jeffrey S. Martzke

Object. The aim of this study was to examine neuropsychological outcome from unilateral posteroventral pallidotomy (PVP) in Parkinson disease while controlling for confounding factors such as test practice and disease progression.

Methods. Participants underwent baseline and 2-month follow-up assessments of cognition, quality of life, mood, and motor functioning. The surgery group (22 patients) underwent PVP (15 left, seven right) after baseline assessment. The waitlist group (14 patients) underwent PVP after follow up. At follow up, the left PVP group exhibited a decline on verbal measures of learning, fluency, working memory, and speeded color naming. The incidence of significant decline on these measures after left PVP ranged from 50 to 86%. The right PVP group did not exhibit a significant cognitive decline, but fluency did decline in 71% of patients who underwent right PVP. Participants who underwent PVP reported better bodily pain and social functioning at follow up than participants in the waitlist group. Improved bodily pain was evident for 62% of the surgery group, and social functioning improved for 19%. Surgery did not alter reported physical functioning or mood. Dyskinesia improved after surgery, but there were no improvements in “on-state” manual dexterity or handwriting.

Conclusions. Most patients who underwent left PVP exhibited declines in learning, fluency, working memory, and speeded color naming. Accounting for retesting effects altered the magnitude of these declines by up to one quarter of a standard deviation, but did not increase the breadth of postsurgical neuropsychological decline beyond that typically reported in the literature. It was found that PVP improved dyskinesia, bodily pain, and social functioning, but did not lead to improvement on other objective and self-reported measures of motor functioning.

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Caglar Berk, Jason Carr, Marci Sinden, Jeff Martzke and Christopher R. Honey

Object. In several studies a significant reduction in tremor after thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been reported among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). It has not been determined if this results in an improved quality of life. In this study the authors prospectively evaluated the effects of thalamic DBS on tremor and quality of life.

Methods. Videotapes of the patients' tremor were made preoperatively and 2 and 12 months postoperatively, and tremor was scored by a neurologist blinded to the treatment. Patients were tested pre- and postoperatively to measure any changes in their reported ability to perform selected activities of daily living and in their health-related quality of life. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about their satisfaction with the surgery. Postoperative changes were examined using paired t-tests.

There were significant reductions in postural, action, and overall tremor at 2 and 12 months postoperatively. The patients' reported ability to feed themselves was significantly improved 2 months after surgery (p = 0.01). There were short-term trends toward improvement in reported dressing ability, personal hygiene, and writing. There were no significant changes in the SF-36 subscales or total score.

Conclusions. In this cohort of patients with MS who suffered from tremor, thalamic DBS significantly improved their tremor and ability to feed themselves. Patient satisfaction with the procedure, however, was variable. Preoperative patient education about what functions might (and might not) be improved is crucial to avoid unrealistic expectations. Our results indicate that younger patients with MS tremor who had a shorter disease duration and no superimposed ataxia benefited most from this surgery.