Medical Definition of Pallidotomy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pallidotomy: A surgical operation performed on the globus pallidus to destroy it. The purpose of this operation is to relieve involuntary movements or muscular rigidity, as, for example, in Parkinson's disease.

The globus pallidus is a pale-appearing spherical area in the brain. (Globus is a Latin word meaning a globe or sphere; pallidus refers to its pallor relative to the surrounding brain substance.) The globus pallidus is specifically part of what is called the lentiform nucleus which, in turn, is part of the striate body. The striate body is a component of the basal ganglia that can be seen as large masses of gray matter at the base of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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