Navigation Links
Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center's Youngest Patient Praises New "Sci-Fi" Procedure

PHOENIX, July 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- First experiencing symptoms at just 29-years-old and diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 34, Tommy Zuleger is the youngest patient ever treated at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix and he says a new "sci-fi" procedure has given him his life back.


The real estate executive recently underwent a new procedure at Barrow called Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which involves surgically implanting a medical device, called a "brain pacemaker," while the patient is under general anesthesia. In select brain regions, DBS has provided remarkable therapeutic benefits for otherwise treatment-resistant movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, tremor and dystonia.

"At first it was nothing major; my right hand would shake," recalls Zuleger, now 38. "But over time the shaking grew worse, I started to feel stiffer than a thirty-something. At thirty-four-years-old, I learned I had Parkinson's."

Parkinson's disease is generally thought of as a disease affecting the elderly, but the National Parkinson Foundation reports more people are being diagnosed with the disease at a younger age. Approximately 10 percent of the one million people living with the disease in the United States are under the age of 40.

Zuleger says he was initially in shock. "I wasn't upset that I had Parkinson's. I was upset because I had it and there wasn't a thing I could do to stop it," he adds.

Though Zuleger had heard of DBS, he explains that at first it wasn't something he seriously considered as an option. "Brain surgery was too scary, especially if I had to be awake while they did it."

By 2012, Zuleger's symptoms had begun to worsen. Fortunately, surgical technology at Barrow had also advanced in that time which allowed his neurologist at the Ali center, Arshia Sadreddin, MD, to recommend a new treatment option—Asleep DBS.

"This new asleep procedure allows us to approach a larger group of patients who would have previously declined the treatment," says Dr. Sadreddin. "It is a real breakthrough for those who are anxious about having awake brain surgery, and for patients like Tommy who are young, healthy and have lesser chance of side effects from general anesthesia."

While DBS has been around for a number of years, the surgeons at Barrow have taken it to a new level by allowing patients to "sleep" during the procedure. Today Barrow surgeons are performing more DBS procedures than at any hospital in the nation and Barrow is one of only a handful of institutions to offer the "asleep" procedure.

Last year, Zuleger began to prepare for the surgery as a patient in the Ali center's new DBS Clinic. "After doing a lot of research, it didn't sound as scary, and actually began to look more and more promising."

Zuleger had the surgery last October and is now back to work and loving life with his wife and four children. "My whole world changed. It was like someone was flipping a switch on in my brain. I know that DBS isn't a cure, but I feel better than I have in years and I hope that it will help to control my symptoms for years to come."

Dr. Sadreddin emphasizes that there is still no cure for Parkinson's disease and DBS is not an effective treatment for all patients. She adds, however, that this new procedure can allow more patients the opportunity to benefit from an improved quality of life they would not have enjoyed previously on medication alone.

About Barrow Neurological Institute
Home to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona is an internationally renowned medical center that offers care for people from throughout the world with brain and spine diseases, disorders and injuries. U.S. News & World Report routinely lists St. Joseph's as one of the top hospitals in the nation for neurological and neurosurgical care.

SOURCE St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Deep Brain Stimulation Clinic Expedites Patient Treatment at Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
2. Promising Parkinsons Disease Research Highlighted by The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Accelerate Drug Development
3. NeuroDerm Announces Presentation of Data from Studies Evaluating ND0612, an Investigational Levodopa Continuous Administration Drug, in Healthy Volunteers and in Patients with Advanced Parkinsons Disease
4. Adamas Pharmaceuticals Presents Positive Phase 2/3 Results For ADS-5102 For The Treatment Of Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia (LID) In Parkinsons Disease
5. From Autism to Diabetes to Parkinsons Disease: Pew Funds 22 Early-Career Scientists to Take Calculated Risks
6. NeuroDerm Announces Presentation of ND0612 Phase 1 and Phase 2 Results at the 2013 International Congress of Parkinsons Disease and Movement Disorders
7. Adamas Pharmaceuticals To Report Positive Phase 2/3 Results For ADS-5102 For The Treatment Of Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia In Parkinsons Disease
8. NeuroDerm Awarded $1M by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for the Clinical Development of ND0612 for Parkinsons Disease
9. Ceregene Reports Additional Efficacy Data From Parkinsons Disease Phase 2b Study
10. Ambit Biosciences Appoints David Parkinson, M.D., to Board of Directors
11. Dont Get Sacked by Parkinsons - Know the Full Range of Symptoms
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HOUSTON, TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EPI; NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the ... clinical study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic ... States and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I ... Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to ... The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, ... adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the ... Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):