Docs put 4 electrodes in man's brain to fix disorder
For more than a year, Vilas Ingavle, 54, could barely sit still or walk straight. With his tongue sticking out of the mouth, even speaking was a struggle.mumbai Updated: Sep 23, 2012 01:14 IST
For more than a year, Vilas Ingavle, 54, could barely sit still or walk straight. With his tongue sticking out of the mouth, even speaking was a struggle.
Ingavle suffers from a condition called dystonia - a movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily.
Last month, doctors freed Ingavle from his involuntary movements by implanting four electrodes in his brain with a deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. When an electrode is implanted in the brain, it emits pulses of energy that block the abnormal activity in the brain, which is responsible for movement disorders such as dystonia.
"Many centres in Europe regularly perform dual stimulation surgeries. In cases as severe as Ingavle's, dual stimulation brings more relief," said Dr Milind Sankhe, consultant neurosurgeon, PD Hinduja Hospital, who operated on Ingavle.
Sankhe, who claimed that Ingavale is the first patient in the country to undergo the procedure, added, "When the disease progresses, there is no need to perform another surgery as stimulation by four electrodes can be increased or decreased depending on the patient's symptoms."
Conventionally, neurosurgeons perform the DBS procedure by implanting two electrodes. However, city doctors are now looking at multi-target therapy in medical conditions such as dystonia and epilepsy.
"More than one location in the brain is affected in patients suffering from dystonia and epilepsy. In such cases, we can explore the benefit of dual stimulation by implanting four electrodes. If it has benefited one patient, more cases need to be performed to gauge the outcome," said Dr Mohinish Bhatjiwala, neurosurgeon, Navneet Hightech Hospital, Dahisar.
According to Dr Paresh Doshi, neurosurgeon at Jaslok Hospital, the multi-target therapy, which involves implanting several electrodes, can be considered only in extreme situations. "There are specific conditions in medical literature where dual stimulation is indicated. However, it does not mean that a surgeon can place multiple electrodes to treat the condition as a means to cover up his efficiency," said Dr Doshi who has redone 12 DBS surgeries to implant the electrodes effectively. "Electrodes should be used optimally as extra electrodes do not necessarily mean better treatment."