History and future challenges of the subthalamic nucleus as surgical target: Review article
Jorge Guridi, Rafael Rodriguez-Rojas, Mar Carmona-Abellán, Olga Parras, Victoria Becerra, Jose Luis Lanciego
For many years the subthalamic nucleus had a poor reputation among neurosurgeons as a result of the acute movement disorders that develop after its lesion or manipulation through different surgical procedures. However, this nucleus is now considered a key structure in relation to parkinsonism, and it is currently one of the preferred therapeutic targets for Parkinson's disease. The implication of the subthalamic nucleus in the pathophysiology of chorea and in the parkinsonian state is thought to be related to its role in modulating the basal ganglia, a fundamental circuit in movement control.
Indeed, recent findings have renewed interest in this anatomical structure. Accordingly, this review aims to present a history of the subthalamic nucleus, evolving from the classic surgical concepts associated with the avoidance of this structure, to our current understanding of its importance based on findings from more recent models. Future developments regarding the relationship of the subthalamic nucleus to neuroprotection are also discussed in this review.