Essential tremor: Aiken resident lives with, raises awareness of disease
Stephanie Turner Email stephaniedturnerAS
Oct 11 2015 3:47 pm
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner
Diann Shaddox was diagnosed with essential tremor in her early 20s. Today, she is the founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation, which raises money and awareness of essential tremor, and is an author, with her first book “A Faded Cottage” also featuring the main character with the disease.
You’re out enjoying a meal with your friends, when you hear a clattering behind you.
Curious, you look over your shoulder to see another patron trying to grasp his fork with a trembling hand.
“Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk."
It is said to affect at least seven million Americans, according to a 2014 “Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements” journal article.
“Everyone has some ... tremor. But these movements usually can’t be seen or felt. It’s Hopkins Medicine.
Diann Shaddox, an Aiken resident in her late 50s, discovered she had ET in her early 20s.
Her hands would start to shake while she was just doing normal tasks, she said in her biography.
“In the beginning, doctors told me to go home, (that) I was nervous,” she said.
Shaddox knew that wasn’t true, so she bypassed the doctors and went straight to a neurologist, who immediately knew she had ET.
Last year, Shaddox began the Diann Shaddox Foundation with Randy Miles as the executive director; Quaid Witherspoon, the protagonist of her 2013, debut book, “A Faded Cottage: A South Carolina Love Story,” also has ET.
“Essential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder. It is a progressive, often inherited disorder that usually begins in later adulthood,” according to John Hopkins. “Essential tremor is thought to be caused by electrical fluctuations in the brain that send abnormal signals out to the muscles.”
The gene that causes ET has not been identified, and how it’s inherited, if the person does inherit it, differs among patients, according the National Library of Medicine’s Genetics Home Reference.
In some causes, “they almost know it’s coming, because generation after generation have a pretty pronounced tremor,” said Dr. Michelle Lyon, Carolina Musculoskeletal Institute’s neurologist.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Dr. Michelle Lyon is the neurologist at Carolina Musculoskeletal Institute
Since Shaddox’s father passed away before she was born and her mother died when Shaddox was a toddler, she isn’t completely sure how she got her ET, though she suspects it’s from a great aunt whose hands would shake.
“In most affected families, essential tremor appears to be inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of an altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder, although no genes that cause essential tremor have been identified,” according to the National Library. “Essential tremor may also appear in people with no history of the disorder in their family.”
There is no genetic test to detect whether or not you will get ET, Lyon said.
“Your health care provider will ask you questions about your health history and family history. He or she will also look at your trembling symptoms. Your provider will probably need to rule out other conditions that could cause the shaking or trembling,” according to John Hopkins.
ET is often confused with Parkinson’s disease, which affects less people and is more detailed in its symptoms than ET, according to Lyon.
Parkinson’s, for example, “generally involves slow movements (bradykinesia), rigidity (stiffness) and problems with walking or balance,” whereas those symptoms are abnormal in people with ET, according to the International Essential Tremor Foundation.
Living with ET
“This (condition) affects all nationalities, all sexes, all ages – all everybody,” Shaddox said.
In addition to running the Diann Shaddox Foundation and publishing “A Faded Cottage,” Shaddox has written time-traveling romance “Whispering Fog” and the historical “Miranda: Her Life’s Story,” with proceeds from her books benefiting her foundation.
The condition first affected her right hand before progressing to her left.
Shaddox can no longer write for extended periods; when she does write, the words are often scribbled.
“If you are right handed, don’t use your right hand; (then) write your name when you are tired, and just keep writing your name, until your hand gets tired. That’s kind of like ET,” she said. “Really simple acts can be horrifying.”
Trouble with writing and eating are often when people come in to get examined, according to Lyon.
“They are embarrassed to go out to eat at a restaurant because they are unable to hold the fork and cut the food,” she said. “I think a lot of people ignore it, until they get to that social situation.”
Shaddox often has to use her opposite hand to steady the one cutting food or putting on make-up and can no longer cross-stitch or play the piano.
Though her hands trembling are the more noticeable symptom, Shaddox’s head shakes back and forth, and she can feel her voice starting to tremor.
“I’ll take two (words) and make up a whole new word while I’m talking,” she said, adding that she also mixes up and forgets words.
The tremors tire her hands but do settle when the limbs are resting, and Shaddox can drive.
“My case is mild,” she said.
Stress, hunger, fatigue and anger can aggravate the tremors, according to the National Institute.
“My hands look like a bird’s wings flapping, when I get stressed,” Shaddox said. “It’s so embarrassing when you are sitting there, and people are staring at you when you are trying to write. You want to scream, walk out, because it’s embarrassing.”
ET has no cure but can be treated, according to Lyon.
Medicines prescribed can include tranquilizers, ones that “affect how brain nerves work” or are anti-seizure, according to John Hopkins.
When the condition is so severe and medicine doesn’t help, there are surgical options, Lyon added. Two are deep brain stimulation and thalamotomy, with the main difference is thalamotomy, which, according to the American Academy of Neurology, actor Micheal J. Fox underwent for his Parkinson’s, involves destroying a piece of the brain while deep brain stimulation does not, according to the International Essential Tremor Foundation.
MCT Graphic/”Minneapolis Star Tribune,” 2009 This graphic explains how deep brain stimulation, using a device similar to a heart pacemaker, can improve the quality of life for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The procedure is also used in more severe cases of essential tremor.
Shaddox no longer takes medication but does lift weights and tries to stay healthy.
When she does her public appearances, she might have some wine nearby, as the drink temporarily calms her, she said.
Shaddox has 16 more books she wants to publish and would like to see her foundation match the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research’s scale.
Shaddox said the foundation’s An Evening in the 1800s with Kim Peevy that was scheduled for Saturday has been postponed but she will have a book signing in April.
“The foundation’s mission is to bring awareness, to educate,” Miles said.
If you are experiencing abnormal tremors, consult with a physician.
For more information on ET, visit www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org, www.aan.com, andwww.essential tremor.org.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.
Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders
The time to consider Deep Brain Stimulation
(DBS) surgery is when quality of life is no longer acceptable on optimal medical therapy as administered by a movement disorders neurologist. The major risks are a 2% risk of stroke, due to bleeding in the brain, and a 5% chance of infection. DBS is a relatively complex therapy that requires regular neurological follow-up and battery changes every 3-4 years.
DBS surgery offers important symptomatic relief in patients with moderate disability from Parkinson's disease who still retain some benefit from antiparkinsonian medications and who are cognitively intact. Patients who fluctuate between "ON” and “OFF” medication states are usually good surgical candidates, as are those who have troublesome dyskinesias.
DBS surgery does not cure dystonia but can decrease the abnormal movements and postures of dystonia. The degree of benefit appears to vary with both the type of dystonia and the duration of the symptoms. Adolescents and young adults with inherited forms of primary dystonia appear to get very significant benefit. For patients with secondary dystonia due to stroke or head trauma, the benefit may be mild. Adults who have had dystonia for many years probably have less improvement than those with more recent onset of symptoms.
Also known as oral-facial dystonia, this syndrome is a combination of two forms of dystonia: blepharospasm and oromandibular dystonia.
DBS is a highly effective therapy for patients with essential tremor, often resulting in an 80% decrease in tremor that lasts for several years. Patients with a tremor secondary to stroke, traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis are less likely to benefit from DBS.
Who should get Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?This is a common question with a surprisingly simple answer: Anyone who would get significant benefit from the treatment and can undergo the operation with minimal risk. It is not necessary to suffer for years after diagnosis with a movement disorder, trying every known combination of medicine, before DBS can be considered. DBS is a surgical option that is known to improve quality of life for movement disorder patients, so when one’s quality of life is dramatically affected by the disease or by medication side effects, it’s time to consider DBS.
What is DBS?DBS surgery involves placing a thin metal electrode (about the diameter of a piece of spaghetti) into one of several possible brain targets and attaching it to a computerized pulse generator, which is implanted under the skin in the chest below the collarbone. All parts of the stimulator system are internal; there are no wires coming out through the skin. A programming computer held next to the skin over the pulse generator is used during routine office visits to adjust the settings for optimal symptom control. Unlike older lesioning procedures or gamma knife radiosurgery, DBS does not destroy brain tissue. Instead, it reversibly alters the abnormal function of the brain tissue in the region of the stimulating electrode. It is important to note that DBS therapy may demand considerable time and patience before its effects are optimized.
How does DBS work?DBS is not a cure for movement disorders, but it can successfully treat symptoms by disrupting the abnormal patterns of brain activity that become prominent in these diseases. DBS is often described as a brain “pacemaker” because constant pulses of electrical charge are delivered at settings that are thought to restore normal brain rhythms, allowing the restoration of more normal movements. The exact mechanisms of this neuromodulation are still unknown.
How is the surgery performed?
Awake Microelectrode-guided DBSDBS electrode placement in the awake patient using a stereotactic frame has been the gold-standard for the past fifteen years.
The basic surgical method is called frame-based stereotaxis, which is the traditional method for approaching deep brain targets though a small skull opening. A rigid frame is attached to the patient's head just before surgery, after the skin is anesthetized with local anesthetic. A brain imaging study is obtained with the frame in place. The images of the brain and frame are used to calculate the position of the desired brain target and guide instruments to that target with minimal trauma to the brain. In the operating room, an intravenous sedative is given, a Foley catheter is placed in the bladder, the stereotactic frame is rigidly fixed to the operating table, a patch of hair on top of the head is shaved, and the scalp is washed. After making the scalp completely numb, an incision is made on top of the head behind the hairline and a small opening, less than the size of a quarter, is made in the skull. If both sides of the brain are to be implanted, the skull opening is made on both sides before sedation is stopped and the patient is fully awoken.
For Parkinson and Dystonia patients, brain mapping using hair-thin microelectrodes is then used to record brain cell activity in the region of the intended target to confirm that it is correct, or to make very fine adjustments of 2 millimeters in the intended brain target to try and find the optimal location. The patient must be calm, cooperative, and silent during the mapping or else the procedure must be stopped. The brain's electrical signals are played over a speaker so that the surgical team can listen for distinctive patterns of neuronal activity that indicate the location of the recording electrode. Since each person's brain is different, the time it takes for the mapping varies from about 30 minutes to up to 2 hours for each side of the brain.
When the correct target site is confirmed with the microelectrode, the permanent DBS electrode is inserted and tested for about 20 minutes. The testing does not focus on relief of motor symptoms but rather on unwanted stimulation-induced side effects. This is because the beneficial effects of stimulation may take hours or days to develop, whereas any unwanted effects will be present immediately. For the testing, we deliberately turn the device up to a higher intensity than is normally used, in order to deliberately produce unwanted stimulation-induced side effects (such as tingling in the arm or leg, difficulty speaking, a pulling sensation in the tongue or face, or flashing lights). The sensations produced at high intensities of stimulation during this testing are experienced as strange but not painful.
Tremor patients, although typically awake in the operating room, do not require the brain mapping procedure described above, and proceed directly to implantation and testing of the stimulating electrode; however in this case it is important to see some benefit of stimulation on tremor symptoms, in addition to the absence of unwanted side effects, at appropriate stimulation parameters.
• Asleep Interventional-MRI-guided (iMRI) DBSOur department recently became one of the first ten programs in the world to offer a procedure that allows DBS electrodes to be implanted with the patient asleep in an MRI scanner instead of awake in the operating room. Parkinson’s and dystonia patients may now undergo surgery without having a frame placed on their heads and without having to be awake. This new procedure is potentially appropriate for:
How is asleep DBS different from awake DBS?Standard DBS is performed with the patient awake, secured in a head-frame, and off medication. Brain mapping through microelectrode recording is used to determine when the electrode is in the optimal location, along with turning on the stimulating electrode to test for efficacy and to evaluate for side effects. Local anesthetic is used to numb the skin where the incision is made, and mild sedatives are administered to ward off anxiety.
The prospect of being awake during brain surgery concerns some patients, as does the requirement to be off medication. Asleep DBS eliminates the need for awake brain mapping because real-time MRI scanning is used to locate the target, determine the correct implantation trajectory and confirm final electrode placement. Additionally, Parkinson’s patients continue to take their medications on the day of surgery.
For patients that are not candidates for awake or asleep-DBS, Gamma Knife surgery may be used to create a thalamotomy (lesion of the thalamus) for the management of tremor. The tremor can be from essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. Gamma knife radiosurgery is mainly performed in patients who have medical risks that make open surgery hazardous or those with very advanced age.
Deep Brain Stimulation
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Although deep brain stimulation is generally safe, any type of surgery has the risk of complications. Also, the brain stimulation itself may cause side effects.
Surgery risks. Deep brain stimulation involves boring small holes in the skull to implant the electrodes, and surgery to implant the device that contains the batteries under the skin in the chest. Complications of surgery may include:
Possible side effects after surgery. Side effects associated with deep brain stimulation may include:
Possible side effects of stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is a serious and potentially risky procedure. Even if you might be eligible for deep brain stimulation, you and your doctors must carefully weigh the risks and potential benefits of the procedure.
Next, preparing for surgery. Before surgery, you need to have medical tests to make sure that deep brain stimulation is safe for you and is a good option in your case. You also need brain-imaging studies, such as an MRI, before the surgery, to map the areas of your brain where the electrodes will be implanted.
What you can expect.
In general, here's how surgery for deep brain stimulation works.
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Stimulation may be constant, 24 hours a day, or your doctor may advise you to turn your pulse generator off at night and back on in the morning, depending on your condition. You can turn stimulation on and off with a special remote control that you'll take home with you. In some cases, your doctor may program the pulse generator to let you make minor adjustments at home.
The battery life of your generator varies with usage and settings. The battery may last between three and five years. When the battery needs to be replaced, your surgeon will replace the generator during an outpatient procedure.
You must remain in close contact with your surgeon and neurologist to make sure that the pulse generator is working correctly.
Deep brain stimulation won't cure your disease, but it may help lessen your symptoms. If deep brain stimulation works, your symptoms will improve significantly, but they usually don't go away completely. In some cases, medications may still be needed for certain conditions. Deep brain stimulation isn't successful for everyone. There are a number of variables involved in the success of deep brain stimulation. It's important to talk with your doctor before surgery about what type of improvement you can expect for your condition.
Learn more about DBS
Brad Carter http://www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org/dsf-blog/brad-carter-on-cnn-about-his-dbs-surgery
Children with Dystonia & DBS http://www.diannshaddoxfoundation.org/dsf-blog/visius-imri-and-clearpoint-guidance-platform-make-dbs-surgery-an-option-for-children-with-dystonia
VISIUS iMRI and ClearPoint guidance platform make DBS surgery an option for children with dystonia
Patients can sleep during deep brain stimulation procedure using intraoperative tools
IMRIS Inc. (NASDAQ: IMRS; TSX: IM) ("IMRIS") and MRI Interventions, Inc. (OTCQB: MRIC) today announced that Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, is the first U.S. pediatric hospital to offer asleep deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to children suffering from dystonia by utilizing the combination of MRI Interventions' ClearPoint® Neuro Intervention System and an IMRIS VISIUS® Surgical Theatre for real-time intraoperative image guidance and procedure visualization.
Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, is the first U.S. pediatric hospital to offer asleep deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to children suffering from dystonia by utilizing technologies from MRI Interventions IMRIS for real-time intraoperative image guidance and procedure visualization. (CNW Group/IMRIS Inc.)
"The VISIUS iMRI and ClearPoint guidance platform make DBS surgery an option for these children," said Dr. John Honeycutt, Medical Director of the Cook Children's Department of Neurosurgery, who led the first two pediatric asleep DBS procedures in early November. "It is very difficult for children to remain awake during surgery, and the real-time intraoperative visualization and guidance we use with these technologies means they do not have to.
DBS surgery is usually performed on patients who are awake so the surgeon can assess the placement of leads (wires) by observing the effect of stimulation in an area of the brain. This is very difficult for children to manage, and children with dystonia have a lot of involuntary movement. However, the combination of ClearPoint and VISIUS iMRI technologies enables Dr. Honeycutt to observe the surgical instruments and exact target location in the patient's brain throughout the operation in real time, allowing these young patients to sleep through surgery and reduce the anxiety associated with it.
Using these technologies, Dr. Honeycutt is able to see and select the desired neurological target area, establish a trajectory, and visualize the target on MR images as the electrode is inserted to the desired location.
Dystonia is a debilitating neurologicalmovement disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions and twisting and repetitive movements. DBS is an important therapeutic option for patients for whom medication is not adequate treatment. The therapy involves the implantation of a brain "pacemaker" device system, usually below the shoulder which sends electrical impulses through wires to specific parts of the brain. The electrical impulses are intended to interfere with the neural activity that causes the involuntary movement and painful muscle contractions. Unfortunately, children with dystonia often do not make good candidates for conventional DBS surgery due to the awake nature of the lead placement procedure.
For neurosurgery, VISIUS iMRI at Cook Children's uniquely brings high-field MRI to the patient inside the operating room on ceiling-mounted rails. The fully integrated suite allows the scanner to move between an operating room and a diagnostic room, providing on-demand access to high resolution MR images - before, during and after procedures without moving the patient.
The ClearPoint platform is the only technology that enables minimally-invasive neurosurgery under continuous MRI guidance, which provides superior visualization of the brain's tissue compared to other imaging technologies and is the only imaging technology that will safely allow continuous soft tissue visualization during surgery.
In addition to asleep DBS, the ClearPoint system has been used within a VISIUS Surgical Theatre to facilitate focal laser ablation and direct drug delivery in the brain.
"As one of a select group of pediatric neurosurgical centers with an IMRIS iMRI today and one of the largest neurosurgical programs in the Southwest, we continue to demonstrate our institution's commitment to the care of children with these complex neurological disorders," Honeycutt added. "Our adoption of the ClearPoint system in the VISIUS iMRI to enable asleep DBS for these young patients is representative of this commitment."
DENVER AND THE WESTColorado neurosurgeon offers new technique for Parkinson's diseaseBy Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Parkinson's patient Katie Strittmatter.(Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)
POSTED: 09/29/2014 12:01:00 AM 4 MONTHS AGO
For Parkinson's disease patients struggling to control tremors, stiffness and abnormal movements, a surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation has provided relief — and a new technique, recently available in Colorado, is gaining ground.
It's a very different patient experience.
In traditional DBS, the patient is awake under local anesthesia during most of the four- to eight-hour brain surgery so he or she can help guide the surgical team. Diminished tremors indicate the surgeon is finding the sweet spot in the brain.
In recent years, surgeons at about a dozen U.S. surgical facilities have been relying instead on improved imaging of the brain during a typically much-shorter operation of two to three hours. And the patient is asleep.
"Brain surgery is a pretty scary thing to have, and brain surgery while you're awake is even scarier," said Dr. David VanSickle of South Denver Neurosurgery on the Littleton Adventist Hospital campus.
In both asleep and awake versions of DBS, a surgeon implants thin insulated wires, or electrodes, through a small opening in the skull into targeted areas of the brain. The wires or leads deliver electrical signals that block the abnormal nerve signals responsible for the most debilitating motor symptoms of Parkinson's. It's done only after medication is no longer consistently effective or if it is causing serious side effects.
Electrode extensions are passed under the skin of the head, neck and shoulder and connected to a battery-operated device, about the size of a stopwatch, called an implantable pulse generator.
For a young patient such as Katie Strittmatter, diagnosed with Parkinson's five years ago at age 30, DBS has restored quality to life and motherhood. She chose "asleep DBS."
"It's incredible," said Strittmatter, the wife of Colorado Rockies catching coordinator Mark Strittmatter. "I was taking 38 pills a day. Now I take three. You would not know if you saw me that I have Parkinson's. I have no sign of tremors."
One side effect of the heavy medication she was taking was interference with sleep. The mother of two children, ages 9 and 11, was exhausted all the time, she said. DBS has restored more normal sleep, but the procedure wasn't a snap.
"The recovery was harder than I thought," she said. "It took three weeks. It was really painful."
Strittmatter, who weighed in at 98 pounds at the time of her surgery, said the battery pack in her chest hurt her at first, as did the 60 metal staples in her head.
"It is brain surgery," she said. "It is a risk. And it doesn't help with the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's."
VanSickle, her surgeon, has been performing DBS for seven years — and doing "asleep DBS" for two years using an MRI, CT scans of the brain and a robot the size of a soda can that places the electrodes in the brain.
Fewer than 10 percent of Parkinson's patients undergo DBS, VanSickle said, a number he and other neurosurgeons say could be higher.
Awake DBS has been used on roughly 100,000 patients since it was developed in France in 1987, according to Medtronic, a leading supplier of DBS devices. Oregon neurosurgeon Kim Burchiel was the first to use DBS in North America as part of a 1991 clinical trial. The Food and Drug Administration approved it for tremors associated with Parkinson's disease in 2002.
Burchiel, chair of neurological surgery at Oregon Health and Science University, developed the new technique of asleep DBS, publishing details of the procedure last year. He predicts it will become the dominant technique in the near future.
VanSickle said using advanced real-time imaging allows the surgical team to verify that they have hit specific targets in the brain. That means that electrodes don't have to be moved around to find the sweet spot.
"We're making this a minimally invasive surgery," VanSickle said. "Fewer hours in the brain is better. A smaller hole in the brain is better. Less bleeding is better. Cheaper is better."
Dr. Steven Ojemann, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, performs both awake and asleep procedures and finds benefits and disadvantages to both. Each patient presents different challenges, he said.
In asleep DBS, Ojemann uses near-real-time MRI to place the electrodes.
"The main drawback is that you don't have the feedback from the patient. You're relying on anatomical precision," Ojemann said. "We're not at a stage where we can make the contention that asleep surgery is superior."
The advantages of DBS have the neurosurgery world buzzing that it could one day be used to treat many conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorders, obesity, Alzheimer's disease and some forms of depression.
Electa Draper: 303-954-1276, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/electadraper
Brad Carter was on CNN today, June 25, 2014 for a follow up about his DBS surgery a year later. Check it out
Brad Carter was born in Forth Worth, Texas and grew up on beautiful farmland outside of Macon, Georgia. He is an actor, VO artist, stand-up comedian, and accomplished musician. Brad has worked in film, television, voice over, PSAs, video games and has 28 national commercials under his belt. He is known for his ability to easily slip into roles, where he becomes the scum of society, makes you laugh with “dumb southern charm,” or breaks your heart with his sorrowful eyes and sincere acting style.
Brad has also studied Improv at the Groundlings and Improv Olympic. Brad also has a wide range of vocal characters for animation and the ability to speak with several different accents and dialects on command.
Brad has performed stand-up at popular LA comedy clubs such as The Improv and The Comedy Store. He has written comedy performed by Fred Willard, Edie Mclurg, and Alan Thicke. Brad also wrote comedy and collaborated with Anne Beatts, an Emmy award-winning writer from Saturday Night Live.
In May of 2014 Brad made history and world news when he allowed his brain surgery to be filmed, Twittered, and put on VINE live. The surgery called “Deep Brain Stimulation” implanted electrodes into his thalamus to get relief from a Tremor disease that had plagued him for years. During the 7 hour surgery Brad amazed the world when he played his unique guitar. The surgery has been viewed hundreds of millions of times and on most news stations around the globe.
In all, Brad had two brain surgeries and a 3rd surgery to implant the pacemaker in his chest.
Given this second chance to play music, Brad wasted no time in funding a kickstarter campaign to record a full length solo album of his original music Due out Early Summer of 2014. If you would like to be notified when the album is complete, please sign up at the
Brad graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from Valdosta State University in 1997, with a focus on bronze sculpture and oil painting. He still uses his artistic talents to help other actors get the kind of headshots that will help get them to the next level. Check out his work at:www.bradcarterphoto.com
DBS Stands for “Deep Brain Stimulation”. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) delivers a constant low electrical stimulation to a small region of the brain, through implanted electrodes connected to an implanted battery. It is used to partially restore normal movements in Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystona.
I made history when I was in the news recently playing guitar during my brain surgery, and was seen all over the world by hundreds of millions of people. Many of you have questions so here is the answer; I had my surgery on May 23rd 2013 and another on September 24th, 2013. I am doing well and happy to report that I am getting great results. I am so grateful to UCLA and to my Doctors.
I have a condition called “essential tremor” which is dominant in my right hand. Make no mistake, this is not a cure. This can however give me back some of the control I have steadily been losing in my hands over the past 8 years. I have since been invited to speak at “ET” and Parkinson’s Disease events and am very honored to do so.
I am in the process of recording an album of my original music that I funded on kickstarter. I am very excited about it. If you would like to check it out go towww.bradcarterkickstarter.com
I am also featured in an upcoming documentary called KICKSTARTED.
If you would like to still donate you can do so on my front page. I am still collecting donations to make a video.
Thank you for your concern and well wishes.