Mu­si­cal mir­a­cle as gui­tarist strums through brain op

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

BAN­GA­LORE, In­dia — It sounds sur­real, but a mu­si­cian strummed on his gui­tar at a Ban­ga­lore hos­pi­tal as doc­tors per­formed brain surgery on him to cure his crip­pled fin­gers of a rare move­ment dis­or­der.

The suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion — the first in In­dia — was con­ducted re­cently by sur­geons at the Bha­gawan Mahaveer Jain Hos­pi­tal on 37-year-old Ab­hishek Prasad who was fully awake dur­ing the surgery and gave live feed­back to the doc­tors by play­ing the gui­tar.

Prasad, who had been suf­fer­ing from “gui­tarist dys­to­nia” for quite some time, has now been cured of the neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der, said doc­tors.

Mu­si­cian’s dys­to­nia is caused by the brain send­ing in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion to the mus­cles and is char­ac­ter­ized by in­vol­un­tary, pro­longed mus­cle con­trac­tions, which cause af­fected parts of the body to be twisted into ab­nor­mal pos­tures, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Dys­to­nia So­ci­ety.

In fact, Prasad, who left his job in the in­for­ma­tion-tech­nol­ogy sec­tor to fo­cus on play­ing gui­tar, de­vel­oped mu­si­cian’s dys­to­nia that af­fected fin­gers on his left hand in 2015 and was forced to aban­don his pas­sion for some time.

“Three of the fin­gers of my left hand — mid­dle, fourth and the lit­tle fin­ger — used to get stiff and stuck while play­ing the gui­tar. I was not able to fol­low my pas­sion due to this,” he told the me­dia.

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, sur­geons made an in­ci­sion in the skull and in­serted a 9-cen­time­ter elec­trode to burn parts of the brain caus­ing the dis­or­der.

As the brain has no abil­ity to feel pain, only lo­cal anes­the­sia was ap­plied to the skin, said doc­tors.

“Such surg­eries re­quire the pa­tient to be awake and per­form the func­tion that is trig­ger­ing the brain to mis­be­have. The idea is to gauge the pa­tient’s re­ac­tion to the surgery as this dis­or­der is spe­cific to a task,” neu­ro­sur­geon Sha­ran Srini­vasan said.

Prasad is a very happy man now and fully sat­is­fied that he will be able to play gui­tar again.

“But now it’s a great feel­ing for both me and the doc­tors. It was a 100 per­cent re­sult on the op­er­at­ing ta­ble,” he said.

“I’m very ex­cited, fi­nally now I can live my dream, can play my gui­tar again af­ter one month of re­cov­ery.

“Now my fin­gers are com­pletely lis­ten­ing to me.”

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