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Ablation is the removal or destruction of an anatomical structure by means of surgery, disease, or other physical or energetic process. Ablation can be performed on any tissue (e.g., cardiac, neurologic, or endometrium). Ablation is employed as a treatment of various medical conditions and includes recent advances in technology. Surgical ablation of neuronal pathways to the globus pallidus or thalamus has been used historically to treat Parkinsonism. Interventional pain experts use radiofrequency ablation of nerves in the spine to treat chronic back pain. Gamma radiation or “gamma knife surgery” is used to excise brain tumors when traditional surgical ablation is too destructive to neighboring tissues. Even with sophisticated neurosurgical techniques, ablation of any type in the central nervous system may still produce unwanted motor, sensory, or cognitive-behavioral impairments.
References and Readings
- Ansari, S. A., Nachanakian, A., & Biary, N. M. (2003). Current surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience, 8(1), 3–7.Google Scholar