Zain Khan (name changed to protect identity) controls his movements through a remote device. The 56 year old businessman from Iraq considers the device a miracle considering he could not perform his daily activities for the past 7 years as a patient of Parkinson’s disease. Today, after undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, he is elated with the way his life has changed. He is now actively involved in spreading awareness about the debilitating movement disorder in his hometown and motivating patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease to avail the advantage of DBS surgery.

Life was a disaster
“In 2005 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when I started experiencing tremors, stiffness and slowness in the limbs on my right side which progressed to the other side in the next couple of years,” he says emotionally. He was started on treatment from 2006 and showed good improvement on medications initially and could perform most of his activities without assistance.

But thereafter, the effect of the drug started wearing off within couple of hours. Stiffness and slowness in the limbs, trunk intermittently in a day affected his day to day activities. His voice would become low and muffled, so he could not communicate effectively during business transactions. He stopped driving, as his business required him to travel in and around his hometown.

“I began to depend on others to run my business. I disliked it but had no option because of my progressive illness. My neurologist in Iraq made adjustments in my medication schedule but this only gave me partial relief. My motor fluctuations persisted and I would suddenly freeze in my movements requiring help for walking and getting up from a chair.

Deep Brain Stimulation changed my life
Khan underwent Bilateral STN Deep Brain Stimulation surgery at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwantpur last year. “The initial response of Khan soon after the stimulation procedure was completed was to hug the team members of the DBS surgery as he felt so elated,” says Dr Guruprasad H, Consultant Neurologist, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital. “He expressed that he has a new life now. His medications were reduced by almost 50 percent of the total dose post surgery. He can drive his car and involve in his business activities more actively,” he adds.

Dr Raghuram G, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, says “He came for a follow up after 3 months and again after one year and is doing very well. He required minor changes in the programming of the stimulation and his medications. He showed significant improvement in the tremors, rigidity and bradykinesia on stimulation. Now he can walk comfortably with good arm swing just on stimulation and without medications. His motor fluctuations have improved, and has begun to feel “Active” throughout the day which he had missed all this while.”

How the neuro team gave Khan a new life
“Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure in which an electrode is implanted deep in the part of the brain that controls movement of the body. The stimulation delivered to this electrode is controlled by a device called a pulse generator. While this surgery is recommended to patients who have been suffering from the disease for a long time, partly immune to the medicines given to them, or in the advanced stages of the disease, this surgery has shown good results in controlling the involuntary movements in the patients. The surgery is not a cure but it helps restore life back for patients,” point out the neurosurgeons.


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