Changes in cognition and health-related quality of life with unilateral thalamotomy for Parkinsonian tremor.
Nijhawan SR., Banks SJL., Aziz TZ., Panourias I., Gregory R., Yianni J., Parkin S., Joint C., Scott RB.
Cognitive functioning and health-related quality of life were assessed pre- and post-operatively in a consecutive series of 31 Parkinson's disease patients who underwent stereotactic unilateral thalamotomy (22 left-sided, 9 right-sided) for tremor alleviation. Neuropsychological functions assessed included verbal and visual memory, language and speech production, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, and attention and working memory. Health-related quality of life measures included both general and disease-specific questionnaires. We found a statistically significant post-operative decline in phonetic verbal fluency scores for left-operated patients, as well as improvements in self-ratings of stigma and bodily discomfort on the disease-specific quality of life questionnaire. These findings suggest that thalamotomy, when indicated, has limited cognitive sequelae and may result in improved quality of life in areas specific to Parkinson's disease.