Patients suffering from Parkinson's disease lose some of their motor function, leading to violent trembling, rigidity and stiffness, among other symptoms. There are a variety of treatments for this disease, one of the most invasive being Deep Brain Stimulation.
A New Zealand man who had this procedure done -- neurotransmitters were placed deep in his brain in areas where electrical nerve signals create the symptoms of Parkinson's -- and recently showed what he is like with the Deep Brain Stimulation device turned on and off. And the video is stunning.
Andrew Johnson, the 35-year-old Auckland man and author of the blog Young and Shaky, wrote that he was "curious about what would happen when I turned my neuro-stimulator off." He explained he would be flying and wanted to be prepared if going through airport security screeners would turn off the implanted device, which he wrote was known to happen.
Johnson controls his implant with this battery-operated remote. (Image: Andrew Johnson/YouTube screenshot)
Since having DBS neurotransmitters implanted in 2012 and earlier this year, Johnson wrote he had never turned them off before.
This is what he looked like with the device running:
Johnson demonstrates the control he has with his deep brain stimulation implant on. (Image: Andrew Johnson/YouTube screenshot)
And here's what he looked like after turning it off:
Johnson begins losing control of his body instantly after turning the device off. (Image: Andrew Johnson/YouTube screenshot)
"Can shake some quality cocktails with the right and the left just looks like the royal wave," Johnson said of his hands shaking after turning off the device.
This is Johnson's face as he breaths a sigh of relief upon turning the device back on.
(Image: Andrew Johnson/YouTube screenshot)
Johnson not only can't control his movement, but also has a hard time speaking without the DBS implant on.
Watch the video to see the transformation:
Ultimately, "if anyone is considering DBS," he says, "I thoroughly recommend it."
Johnson posted his video on a Reddit where it was trending at the top of the social news site's front page Friday morning. On the thread, he wrote that his goal is to "reduce stigma and discrimination by raising awareness and having a laugh along the way."
In the About Me section of his blog, Johnson wrote that his diagnosis was of early onset Parkinson's, which he learned about when his wife was pregnant with their second child.
"It came as a bolt out of the blue for us both, especially Lynn from whom I had managed to hide many of my initial difficulties," he wrote.
Although the disease has progressed rapidly, Johnson said, thanks to his support system, he has "every reason to try my utmost best to live well with Parkinson’s."
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