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Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center's Youngest Patient Praises New "Sci-Fi" Procedure
Date:7/12/2013

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,
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SOURCE St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
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