Deep Brain Stimulation to Reduce Involuntary Tics

BBC reported of a 32 year old man named Mike Sullivan who’s going to have deep brain stimulation to help reduce his involuntary tics (both motor and vocal tics). Mr Sullivan’s neurological disorder is known as Tourette Syndrome which is caused by communication problem between the nerves in the brain.

During this pioneering form of deep brain stimulation surgery a local anaesthetic is used and electrodes are put into the brain through the skull. The electrodes are linked to a battery in the patient’s chest then electrical impulses are sent to the brain to block the damaging signals.

Mr Sullivan was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of 12 and became the victim of bullying at school. He has tried different medications, none has relieved his symptoms but many have given him serious and unpleasant side effects. Lately his condition worsened and symptoms became more frequent that’s why he finally opted for deep brain stimulation.

Mr Sullivan was aware of the risks involved in undergoing brain surgery, but if it led to any improvement in his condition it would be worth it. “It’s reasonably safe, but still I think Mike’s being extremely brave to do this because it is pioneering and cutting edge,” said Dr Tim Harrower, a consultant neurologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Read the full story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-12370954

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