BENGALURU: A 32-year-old techie-turned-musician strummed the guitar on the operation table while surgeons “burned” his brain to correct a neurological disorder. The seven-hour surgery at a city hospital last week relieved the youth of musician’s dystonia, a condition that cramped three fingers on his left hand.
Tushar (name changed) experienced the first cramps more than a year and a half ago while playing the guitar. Musician’s dystonia occurs due to abnormal and involuntary flexion of muscles, because of rigorous use.
While the doctors “burned” parts of his brain that triggered the abnormal tremors in his muscles, Tushar played the guitar to help them locate the troublesome areas. Dr Sanjiv C C, a senior neurologist from the University of British Columbia, said, “This problem occurred when he tried to play the instrument and real-time feedback was important for us to ascertain the exact location of the target to be repaired.”
Dr Sharan Srinivasan, a stereotactic and functional neurosurgeon at Jain Institute of Movement Disorders and Stereotactic Neurosurgery, said: “This is a surgery where the part of the brain triggering abnormal tremors is destroyed by burning. Before the surgery, a special frame was fixed to his head with four screws going deep into the skull following which an MRI was conducted.” These MRI images showed three coordinates of the target area in the brain (8-9cm deep, in this case) along with the entry point to the skull and the path to be followed during surgery.
“Based on these coordinates, a 14mm hole was drilled into the skull under local anaesthesia and a specialized electrode was passed into the brain following which it was stimulated to confirm the right location and prevent complications,” he said.
Tushar is cured now. “I was amazed to see my fingers improve magically on the operation table itself. By the end of the surgery, my fingers were 100% cured and I could move them like before. Within three days of surgery, I walked out of the hospital all set to play guitar again,” he said.