Brain Surgery Leads to Fewer Meds, More Happiness for Parkinson's Patients

 – April 3, 2015  –– 

Brain Surgery Leads to Fewer Meds, More Happiness for Parkinson's Patients – Meredith Engel
Elite athlete Drew Heighway was only 49 when he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease. But last year, Heighway got a revolutionary brain surgery that uses electrodes to stop his symptoms before they start. Last summer, the Chatham, N.J. resident underwent a procedure that planted electrodes four inches beneath his skull. The mechanism, powered by a battery implanted under his collarbone, stops Parkinson's symptoms through deep brain stimulation. Heighway was a strong candidate for the procedure, said his neurosurgeon, Brian Kopell, MD, of The Mount Sinai Hospital, who has done it more than 800 times. Heighway's medical odyssey started in 1998 with a foot ache he was quick to ignore. But foot cramps are an early symptom of the degenerative condition, says Heighway's Mount Sinai neurologist, Ritesh Ramdhani, MD.

-Dr. Brian Kopell, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
-Dr. Ritesh Ramdhani, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Learn more

Additional Coverage
Connecticut Bulletin Standard