MAR 05, 2018 06:47 AM PST

A Brain Burn for Parkinson's?

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Parkinson's disease can devastate its victims because the tremors and muscle rigidity eventually make it nearly impossible to walk, sleep, dress or eat. Electrical signals in the brain that are abnormal send messages to nerves that cause the shaking that is common in the early stages of the disease. In Inda recently, a patient who had severe tremors in her arm and leg had "Circuit burning" brain surgery. The surgery happens while the patient is awake because the doctors must be able to see, in real time, the effects of the operation.

It's an extremely difficult procedure to undergo because the pathways to specific nerves are often difficult to find. They can be deep in the brain and getting to them without injuring surrounding tissue is the goal. Once a circuit had been burned away for this patient, the tremor stopped almost immediately. The surgery is called a thalamotomy and was performed at Jain Hospital in Bengaluru, India.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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