60-year-old Parkinson’s disease patient gets his voice back after two years
This is one of the rare instances wherein Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has managed to effectively cure a patient’s speech, said doctors.Updated: Jan 28, 2018 00:27 IST
A 60-year-old Bandra businessman, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and had been unable to move or speak for more than two years, recently got his voice back after a two-day surgery at Jaslok Hospital. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system which affects voluntary movement.
According to doctors, this is one of the rare instances wherein Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has managed to effectively cure the speech of a Parkinson’s disease patient. Used to treat those suffering from the disorder for more than 4-5 years, DBS is a procedure wherein an implanted device sends electrical signals to brain areas responsible for motor functions through electrodes, which are placed deep in the brain.
The surgery was performed by Dr Paresh Doshi, director of neurosurgery, Jaslok Hospital and research center. “In past 20 years, I’ve performed the surgery on over 425 patients but this is the first patient whose speech went from completely incoherent to understandable immediately after the surgery,” said Dr Doshi.
The patient’s motor and speech skills had been impaired for two years. “He used to sit down on his knees after taking every step. Eight out of ten times when he tried to speak, he couldn’t talk at all,” said the patient’s wife.
Doctors said that the procedure continued for two days for four to five hours each day, after which the patient was able to sit upright and had clearer speech.
“The medical field is unsure of the exact causes of speech loss during Parkinson’s and the effect of DBS on it,” said Dr Doshi. She added that her team is preparing to document the procedure and its success in an international scientific journal.