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Texas Neurosciences Institute - Methodist Healthcare - San Antonio, Texas
Movement Disorders

Parkinson's
When Charolet Goos heard that some of her classmates were beginning to plan a fiftieth high school reunion, she knew better than to even hope. Charolet could barely walk ten feet, couldn’t complete simple household tasks and every day seemed to be worse than the one before. “It was terrible,” she said, “I could barely get up off the couch.” The thought of traveling out-of-state to attend her reunion seemed impossible.

Parkinson’s had already claimed one of her greatest passions. Bowling weekly with her husband in the senior’s league was no longer a possibility. At just ninety pounds and 5’1” inches tall, Charolet’s Parkinson’s ravaged frame was plagued with tremors and uncontrollable shaking. Charolet started having back problems in the early ‘80s. She experienced a small, barely noticeable tremor in her leg.

By the time Charolet went to see Arnold Vardiman MD at Texas Neurosciences Institute, twenty years later, her condition had gotten much worse. In addition to the tremors, her small weak frame would often lock up causing her to suddenly fall. Dr. Vardiman determined that Charolet was a candidate for deep brain stimulation, also called Activa Therapy. Dr. Vardiman is one of the most experienced doctors when it comes to implanting Activa Therapy devices. He only performs this procedure at Methodist Hospital.

“Here at Methodist Hospital, we offer surgery for patients who are no longer experiencing benefits from medication or have intolerable side effects from their prolonged use. We’ve offered a pallidotomy here for several years. This is an ablative procedure requiring the destruction of a small area of brain tissue. But now, we do mostly non-destructive operations like Deep Brain Stimulation,” said Dr. Vardiman Electrodes are surgically implanted in the brain and electrical impulses are delivered at just the right points to control tremors.

“For Parkinson’s Disease patients whose symptoms are not limited to tremor, e.g. Bradykinesia which is slowness of movement, rigidity or postural instability, we can offer subthalmic nucleus (STN) stimulation rather than thalmic. The target is a little bit deeper in the brain and can help in controlling the entire constellation of Parkinsonian symptoms. STN finally gives us an effective new approach to treat all the disabling symptoms of the disease without having to destroy or permanently alter a person’s brain tissue.”

This breakthrough procedure has helped many people just like Charolet regain control of their muscles and stop tremors. A pacemaker like device is implanted to deliver the low-voltage impulses. The device runs off batteries, which have to be changed every three-five years, making the patient completely mobile.

“There are not many procedures I do that have this immediate result. For people who have been forced to live with tremor for years and years, the change is sometimes overwhelming. Imagine not being able to feed or dress yourself, hold a phone to your head or pour a glass of water because you can’t control your limbs. It’s not an overstatement to say you literally give some people their life back.”

Charolet noticed a difference the instant she woke up from surgery. Her tremors were gone. Today, Charolet is back at the bowling alley every week. She also cannot wait to attend her upcoming high school reunion. “I’ll be there. I’m definitely going to go, now.”

To learn more about Texas Neurosciences Institute, or to contact a treating physician, call NeuroDoc at 210-575-0570 or 1-877-960-1212, or visit
www.texasneurosciences.com.

Watch Amazing Video

Success Story
Charolet was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 20 years ago. By the time she came to the Texas Neurosciences Institute, she could hardly walk ten feet. Bowling, her passion, was completely out of the question. The shaking had gotten so bad that she could barely get out of bed. [more]

 

   
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