Pallidotomy for generalized dystonia.
We systematically evaluated the efficacy of both unilateral and bilateral stereotactic pallidotomy in eight patients with generalized dystonia. Six patients had a marked improvement in dystonic movements and motor function; the other two patients also benefited from the procedure but to a lesser extent. The severity of dystonia was assessed before and after surgery by the Burke-Marsden-Fahn Dystonia Scale (BMFDS), the Unified Dystonia Rating Scale (UDRS), and the Activity of Daily Living Scale (ADL). The BMFDS scores decreased by 59.0%, UDRS by 62.5%, and ADL by 47.8% postoperatively. Adverse events were limited to a transient weakness in one patient. We conclude that pallidotomy is a safe and effective treatment in medically refractory cases of generalized dystonia.