Man Plays Banjo During Brain Surgery - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/21/08

Man Plays Banjo During Brain Surgery

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Deep brain stimulation, a type of brain surgery, is done on patients that are awake so doctors can actually see where tremors are coming from. Then they insert an electrode that will emit low levels of energy to stop whatever is triggering the tremor. At Vanderbilt University, surgeons added a new twist to that procedure by asking their patient, a musician, to play his favorite song on the banjo during that surgery.

Dr. Joseph Neimal, of Vanderbilt University, says, "We can stimulate and see whether the effect we have is what we expect.  Whether the tremor improves, whether we have any side effects that we may not want, and it's the combination of those things that really gives us the precision that we need to do it properly".

After 50-years of playing the banjo, Eddie Adcock was afraid he would have to quit because he suffered from tremors. Now, his doctors say they are amazed by his startling recovery after deep brain stimulation. Doctors found the trouble spot and Eddie regulates that nerve stimulation through a pacemaker near his shoulder.

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