The news: A musician recently played the violin while — wait for it — having brain surgery.
By playing his violin during a brain operation, professional violinist Roger Frisch was able to guide his surgeons toward the segment of his brain where a misfiring signal was causing his hands to break out periodically in rhythmic shaking.
The surgery, called deep brain stimulation, involved doctors implanting a tiny electrode into Frisch's brain that blocks the tremor by delivering a zap of electricity to the part of the brain that was signaling in error.
Here's how they did it: After locating the part of Frisch's brain that was misfiring, a team of surgeons implanted two tiny electrodes deep inside. Using the electrodes, the doctors sent minuscule electric pulses into Frisch's brain. Next, they asked him to play his violin — the same movement that brought about his tremors.
Once the doctors were able to hone in on where the signals were being sent erroneously, they implanted the electrode permanently into the brain. Now, when Frisch feels a tremor coming on, he simply pushes a button linked by wire to the device (to turn it on) and the brain region is disabled, stopping the tremor.
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