I was wide awake during my brain surgery for Parkinson’s. Here’s how it changed my life – CBC

I’m one of the lucky 400 or so people a year who receive this surgery in Canada

Feb 20, 2023

My latest party trick is a real attention grabber.

It’s a vivid illustration of the before and after effects of my recent treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Proof of just how much a little poking around in the brain can achieve.

The treatment is called deep brain stimulation (DBS). It involves implanting thin electrodes into the brain where they emit tiny electrical pulses. Those pulses, applied continuously to just the right section of grey matter, stimulate centres in the brain that control signals sent to your muscles. In the basal ganglia, the engine house of the brain, signals are sent to the body ordering everything from speaking, to swallowing, to walking and touching. When those signals don’t get through, or when the instructions get scrambled, the body’s reaction can be cruel. Hands tremble uncontrollably, legs shake, walking becomes increasingly difficult, even swallowing is a challenge.

These are all early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the list is by no means exhaustive.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/first-person-harry-forestell-parkinsons-dbs-1.6752210

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More