Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Roger Frisch Undergoes Deep Brain Stimulation

I just wanted to share this video! Roger Frisch, concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra underwent brain surgery to overcome his essential tremors. I'm so happy it helped him overcome them completely! Essential tremors and dystonic tremors both have no known source of cause. As well, they both involve misfiring signals from the brain.

However, essential tremors are much different than dystonia. Essential tremors are usually in just the hand, arm, and fingers (mostly all at once) and are a constant tremor (even when not playing their instrument). Whereas Focal task-specific dystonia, the tremors are set off by a specific motion or movement or task initiated (in other words they only happen when a person is playing their instrument), and the tremors are irregular or sporadic. Essential tremors usually develop in older age, and dystonia usually occurs in young adults 25 and up.

There are many people with general types of dystonia who undergo brain surgery, but not many musicians who do due to the difficulty stated's not easy to find out how to correct the tremors or where the signal is coming from when the musician is not playing their instrument. In this case, he has essential tremors and was able to play his instrument during surgery. I can't imagine! I don't think I could ever be brave enough, nor afford it.

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