'Sci-fi' brain procedure gives Parkinson's patient relief - FOX 35 News Orlando

'Sci-fi' brain procedure gives Parkinson's patient relief

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PHOENIX -

St. Joseph's Hospital has made another neurological breakthrough -- they're one of the few medical facilities in the country to offer a new way to fight Parkinson's. Patients say, it's working.

Walking through the doors of the Muhammed Ali Parkinson's Center marked the beginning of Tommy Zuleger's fight against Parkinson's disease.

"It's kind of an odd experience, because you walk into the place and I'm literally 30 years younger than most other people that are here," says patient Tommy Zuleger.

His medications made him so sick that he lost 30 pounds in less than 4 months. He considered deep brain stimulations surgery, but he would have to be awake during the operation.

"They're sitting there drilling holes in your head, putting wires in your head and that just wasn't very appealing to me," he says.

His doctor, Arshia Sadreddin, told him that thanks to a breakthrough – he could be asleep when surgeons drilled two holes in his head and placed in the deep structures of his brain.

"Stimulations help relieve the symptoms in Parkinson's, patients of tremor, stiffness, or rigidity, that's often seen," said Dr. Arshia Sadreddin.

Zuleger noticed relief when the wires were connected to batteries implanted in his chest. Essentially it's a pacemaker.

Now 38, the real estate executive can control his settings with this remote, and can now control his life thanks to the procedure.

"It's those little things that you don't realize that normal people, or people that aren't affected by Parkinson's every day, that you get back," says Zuleger.

Right now there are only two clinics in the country that offer asleep deep brain stimulation.

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