Fundamental of Neuroscience: Deep Brain Stimulation and Parkinson’s Disease (HarvardX)

By: HarvardX

[MUSIC PLAYING] I'm becoming nonfunctional practically, and it doesn't bother me as much that people think that I'm weird, or crazy, or drunk. People think that I'm drunk, really, I'm Tim Moutafis. I'm 62 years old. I'm an entrepreneur, specializing in medical devices. I have two boys, who are grown.

I have a wonderful wife, and I'm looking to better my condition to where it was before. When he got the diagnosis, we were stunned. He's always been an athlete, and not just, you know, the weekend warrior type, but we're talking like biking across Greece, and boxing, and doing all these other things. And I think my initial reaction was panic, like how can this be? Every time I have a challenge, I'm tempted to resolve it. So I saw this as an opportunity to show who I am really.

He was determined to act as if this were a minor inconvenience, and that I think was the thing that really got me to stop panicking and to think, OK, I got to approach this in a different way. I mean I don't know what I would have done if he had just-- he you got that diagnosis and said, oh my god, I'm done. These three traces are of three electrodes.

The top one is the anterior one. The middle one is in the middle. And this one is a posterior one. So, right now it's pretty quiet. Kind of like in a oscilloscope this is a one second sweep. And when we see neurons, you'll see the little vertical deflections. Those are single action potentials of neurons, OK? Ok, so I'm going to stop here for just a second, and check the impedence of the electrodes, now that I'm confident that they're out of the cannula. My first concern was what do I say to my kids, because that was a concern.

Fundamental of Neuroscience: Deep Brain Stimulation and Parkinson’s Disease (HarvardX)

And, you know, kids are very good. They pick up on things. You don't have to say a whole lot. They kind of can see where things are going. And so I did talk to them about it.

But they also took their cues from their dad, who once he was diagnosed with Parkinson's, within the first couple of years said, OK, so let me make up a plan here that I think will help me in the long run. So windsurfing was something he took up after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Part of my protective nature is I want to make it all better, like right away. And I've learned to trust him. Initially, when we started windsurfing, which, you know, it was-- and on the open water. OK, we're talking ocean. It scared me to death.

And I was all over him. Do you remember that one time the coast guard came by? I took a long rope, and I tied myself to the shore. And then I windsurfed the best way I could, so it took me a couple of seconds to do that. This is out on the open ocean.

OK, so that scared me a little bit. Wait, you tied yourself to shore? Right. [LAUGHTER] Like, how long was the rope? It was about a 1,000 feet or so. [LAUGHTER] I mean, I was able to go back and forth, but if there was a boat to cross the rope, then we would have had a problem. OK, we're going to go ahead and get started. Open and close your hand.

Good. The light bulb. Show me how you turn a screw driver. Good.

Say, I love tapioca pudding. I love tapioca pudding. OK, alright.

Do it again. Open and close your hand. That looks good. Do the light bulb. Nice, how's it feel to you? Same? Better? Or worse? Same to better. Same to better. It looks looser to me.

It looks more fluid. Try it again. Open both of your hands. Do the light bulb.

Any unusual sensation Numbness? Tingling? Anything like that? You OK? No. No, you're not OK? No I'm not. Is he having trouble talking? There is a little face pulling. Ok go back down.

To four? To zero. OK, feel better now? Yeah. And, you know, this is a really like quick and dirty test, so it's much finer when you get it tested in the office, OK? So, I'm just going to secure everything in place. And then close up.

Feel free to relax, close your eyes, take a nap, whatever. That's fine. Ok. You ok? Great job! I think there's a lot of hope in terms of what's out there.

So, there's so much research going on right now. So, I'm hopeful that the deep brain stimulator will give us-- buy us some time until the next big thing, and then we'll go from there.

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