New brain surgery ignites hope among Parkinsons affected

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016,14:05 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Kolkata | Sons’ love for their mother gave her a new lease of life and ignited hopes among thousands down with the Parkinsons. Unable to lift her hands or move a single step without others’ help till a month back, 55-year-old Shashikala Shukla is now a beacon of hope for thousands similarly afflicted by Parkinson’s disease, with a neurosurgeon claiming it was the first such (brain pacemaker) implant in eastern India. Shasikala, a patient of intractable Parkinson’s disease for many years, was afflicted by severe rigidity (whole-body stiffness) and bradykinesia (slowness of movements), Consultant Neurosurgeon Anirban Deep Banerjee said.

As a result of escalating medication, (she) had started showing symptoms of Dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements). Advanced Parkinson’s had severely restricted her mobility, leaving her disabled and mostly bed-bound, Banerjee said. Banerjee led a team at the Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals (AGH’s) advanced movement disorder clinic and carried out a successful rechargeable bilateral sub-thalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (brain pacemaker) surgery on Shashikala, a single mother of three kids.

The eight-hour-long awake neurosurgery, implanting the constant-current based rechargeable brain pacemaker system, led to an almost overnight improvement in her symptoms, the neurosurgeon said. Her implant was then programmed and checked for best parameters, leading to a significant reduction in her medications and its side-effects, he added. She has regained significant mobility, and is carrying out daily activities on her own. Her quality of life has improved, Banerjee, an alumnus of Cleveland Clinic, USA and eastern India’s first fellowship-trained Functional Neurosurgeon, said.

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