M3 Features

Parkinson’s cure for old patients


March 23, 2014

Gita Sen (78), who lives near Deshapriya Park in South Kolkata, may have made it to the record books, albeit unknowingly. She is one of the oldest patients in the world with Parkinson’s disease to have undergone Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery.

“My condition was extremely severe. I required help to perform even the most basic tasks. The worst thing was that my brain was working fine but my limbs weren’t following instructions. Things were deteriorating rapidly when I got in touch with Dr. Sujoy Sanyal, functional neurosurgeon at the Rabindranath Tagore Hospital. He performed DBS surgery and the improvement was phenomenal. I had never believed that the quality of my life would improve in this manner,” Sen said.

Sanyal pioneered the DBS surgery in eastern India and has treated several patients over the last four years. Maya Roy, another patient, went under the scalpel at the age of 74. Her husband was elated.

Sanyal said that Roy’s condition was similar to that of Sen’s. DBS surgery involves computer-guided placement of two electrodes to a deep nucleus inside both sides of the brain. This is called the Subthalamic Nucleus and measures around 5 mm. Stimulations are then sent through the electrodes by a pacemaker placed just below the collarbone on the left side. This helps in movement of the limbs. The patient remains conscious during the whole process.

Sanyal was an invited faculty on DBS at the World Congress of Neurosurgeons in Seoul, South Korea, in 2013. He also spoke on DBS at the Water E Dandy Neurosurgical Society meet in Milan, Italy.

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