Abhishek Prasad, a musician from Bengaluru was suffering from a condition commonly known as “musician’s dystonia.” Doctors had to burn circuits in his brain to relieve him of the problem and Prasad was asked to play the guitar to help them locate the problematic areas.
Dystonia had caused stiffness in 3 of the fingers of his left hand and it triggered when he played guitar. Mr. Prasad told the BBC that he was able to play with ease after the surgery.
Prasad was not able to make complete use of his left hand since more than a year as they had become stiff and involuntary. Dystonia causes painful spasms, twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. It took a long time for him to be correctly diagnosed, post which he was advised to undergo brain surgery.
Prasad was awake during the operation and he felt as if a generator was on but could feel no pain due to local anesthesia. He remembers every detail of the procedure. A frame with four screws was fixed on his head to conduct an MRI scan. The scan helped in assessing how deep the electrodes could be inserted to correct the circuits inside the brain.
Dr. Srinivasan, a stereotactic and functional neurosurgeon at Jain Institute of Movement Disorders and Stereotactic Neurosurgery, said that he made a 14mm hole and inserted a specialized electrode into the skull and the “target areas were 8 to 9cms deep inside the brain”.
“He was fully awake all through, and the result was available on the operating table because his fingers had started moving normally on the guitar,” he explained to the BBC. Prasad himself says that his fingers had opened up by the sixth burn and he was feeling normal on the operation table itself.
Prasad still feels a little weak in his left hand and leg but would recover in a month’s time and resume full-fledged guitar practice.
Watch this video to witness the medical marvel: