K23 — June 2010 — DBS for Tremor
Intro: Professional violinist Roger Frisch had a diagnosis of essential tremor. For two years he hid the quavering bow by not playing the soft parts of the music, but soon his career was in jeopardy. To save his music, neurosurgeons at Mayo Clinic implanted an electrical stimulator in his brain. The catch was, he had to be awake and playing the violin during the operation.
"THIS IS ALL I WANTED TO DO SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BOY. AND AFTER 35 YEARS OF BEING IN THE MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA, I LOVE IT AS MUCH NOW AS THE FIRST DAY I STARTED." (MUSIC)
BUT WHEN ROGER FRISCH DRAWS THE BOW ACROSS THE STRINGS, ESPECIALLY ON HIGH NOTES, HIS ARM SHAKES FROM A CONDITION CALLED ESSENTIAL TREMOR.
"ONCE IT STARTS THERE'S NO STOPPING IT (SHAKY NOTE CAUSED BY TREMOR) THIS MIGHT BE THE END OF MY CAREER."
IN HOPES OF FINDING TREATMENT THAT COULD SAVE HIS CAREER, ROGER WENT TO MAYO CLINIC.
"WE'RE INSERTING THE DBS ELECTRODE NOW."
DR. KENDALL LEE AND A TEAM OF EXPERTS, PERFORMED WHAT'S CALLED DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION. AND DURING THE ENTIRE PROCEDURE ROGER WAS AWAKE, READY TO PLAY HIS VIOLIN.
"ROGER CAN YOU PLAY A SONG FOR US?"
MAYO ENGINEERS DESIGNED A DEVICE THAT MEASURES ROGER'S TREMOR. WHILE ROGER PLAYS, DR. LEE INSERTS ELECTRODES INTO ROGER'S BRAIN AND GUIDES THEM TO THE SITE WHERE THE TREMOR ORIGINATES. ONCE THERE, THE ELECTRODES FIRE ELECTRICAL SIGNALS TO HOPEFULLY STOP THE TREMOR. THERE WAS NO GUARANTEE IT WOULD WORK.YOU SEE, ROGER'S TREMOR IS RELATIVELY MINOR, AND HE WANTS 100% RELIEF.
(SONG) THANKFULLY IT WORKED. (CLAPPING).
"I'M VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS OF THE OPERATION. AS IS THE PATIENT."
IT CAN TAKE A WHILE TO RECOVER FROM BRAIN SURGERY, BUT NOT FOR ROGER. IN TWO DAYS HE WAS PRACTICING AND WITHIN FOUR WEEKS HE WAS READY TO BE BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT. (MUSIC)
"IT WAS TRULY AN ANSWER TO PRAYER. I AM SO THANKFUL TO BE GIVEN BACK MY CAREER AND JUST THE ENJOYMENT I GET FROM PLAYING THE VIOLIN."
FOR MEDICAL EDGE, I'M VIVIEN WILLIAMS.
Anchor tag: Roger says he's not only thankful to be able to play, but he's also grateful that he was able to be awake during surgery, as it was an amazing experience. For more information on deep brain stimulation or essential tremor, visit our website…
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