"New Hope In The Fight Against Parkinson’s Disease" - Kenneth Craig
It’s estimated that about a million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s; the progressive nervous system disorder is debilitating and has no cure. Melissa Hahn and her father, Edward Hahn, are thankful for the new technology allowing them to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Both are living with Parkinson’s Disease. Melissa was taking more than ten pills each day and had severe tremors and cramping when she decided brain surgery was her only option. Last summer, the 41-year-old underwent deep brain stimulation or DBS, at The Mount Sinai Hospital. “In essence, that’s a pacemaker for the brain,” said Brian Kopell, MD, professor of neurosurgery, neurology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and director of the Center of Neuromodulation at the Mount Sinai Health System. While DBS has a long history, Dr. Kopell is using the latest technology approved by the FDA. During surgery, leads are implanted that deliver electrical impulses to control Parkinson’s symptoms. Weeks later, the stimulation is fine-tuned using an iPad. Melissa and her father are now enjoying activities they thought they would never do again. Both still take medication, but only a fraction of the pills they once relied on. Their only regret is not getting the surgery sooner.
- Brian Kopell, MD, Professor, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Neurology, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Center of Neuromodulation at Mount Sinai Health System