Patient to Speak at April 28 Parkinson’s Symposium in Fort Worth
Krista Ayers, 45, was fed up with not being able to do the simple things in life, such as use her right hand to write or walk without wobbling. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013. Symptoms, including tremors and dyskinesia (uncontrolled body movements), had begun to dramatically interfere with her quality of life. That is why she decided to try deep brain stimulation with neurosurgeon Ab Siadati, MD, at Medical City Fort Worth.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat debilitating motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking problems. The procedure is also used to treat essential tremor and dystonia. DBS uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called an implantable pulse generator –similar to a heart pacemaker and about the size of a stopwatch – to deliver electrical stimulation to specific areas in the brain that control movement, thus blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause PD symptoms.
Ayers had the DBS procedure in October 2017 at Medical City Fort Worth and says it has “made a huge difference” for her. She recalls that, within a week after the procedure, she was able to walk normally and swing her arms, something she had not been able to do because of her dyskinesia. Six weeks after the procedure, the North Richland Hills resident went back to work as an office manager. As her doctors continue to fine-tune the programming of her DBS device, Ayers continues to see new progress, including being able to write with her right hand.
“I feel like I’m able to take care of myself again,” Ayers said. “It’s the little things like being able to wash your hair with two hands or cut up your food yourself – that’s amazing,” Ayers said. “Symptoms like rigidity, tremors and dyskinesia have significantly improved and are now very minimal.”
“I find this particular neurosurgical procedure truly amazing,” said Ayers’ doctor, Ab Siadati, MD. “The quality of life improvements with this surgery can definitely be transformative. Prior to the surgery, some of these patients are practically imprisoned in their own bodies because they cannot control their own movements. I also think that DBS is the wave of the future in neurosurgery, with computers interacting directly with the brain to improve function.”
Dr. Siadati is the only neurosurgeon currently performing adult DBS in Tarrant County. Not all patients with tremors are appropriate candidates for DBS, so Dr. Siadati advises patients to talk with their neurologist about whether DBS could be an option.
In observance of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Dr. Siadati and Ayers will both speak at an educational symposium on April 28 in Fort Worth, sponsored by the Parkinson’s Support Group of Tarrant County.