Grown-up procedure helps 7-year-old girl ride bike for first time
(04/24/14) - The same treatment that is helping adults battle Parkinson's has made it possible for a 7-year-old girl to ride her bike for the first time ever. Dystonia is a movement disorder that affects about 300,000 Americans. It makes simple activities like walking, balancing, or even talking are difficult, if not impossible. But a surgery that is helping people make huge strides against Parkinson's may be the answer so many living with Dystonia have been searching for.
Emma Horton is a little girl with a big personality, says her mother, Cheryl, "she lights up a room when she goes into it."
The 7 year old cannot speak, but she can communicate with her iPad. Emma has dystonia, a condition that causes her muscles to contract and spasm.
Her father, Colby, says even the simplest tasks are a challenge, "just little things that you take for granted that a 7 year old should be able to do, Emma was never able to do it."
But today, Emma is doing better than ever, thanks to deep brain stimulation, DBS, says neurosurgeon, Dr. John Honeycutt, "we've been very pleasantly surprised by her."
During the DBS procedure, electrodes are placed in the brain and wires connect them to batteries implanted in the chest. The device sends electrical pulses to affected parts of the brain to "reset" them.
Honeycutt says, the best part is Emma was able to have anesthesia and be asleep during the surgery, "we used to keep the kids awake. They don't have to be awake anymore."
Her results were fast and spectacular, Cheryl says, "we saw immediately some of that undesired movement stop."
Just three months after the procedure, Emma rode her bike for the first time. Dr. Honeycutt says it typically takes six months or longer for patients with dystonia to see very good results after DBS, so Emma is expected to improve even more. DBS is not a cure; if patients have their device removed, symptoms will likely return.
Quick reminder, this weekend, you can join Jennifer Profitt in Bay City or me in Grand Blanc for the March of Dimes March for Babies walks.
Bay City Saturday, April 26, 2014 LOCATION Boys and Girls Club in Bay City. Evergreen Drive, just north of Lafayette between the bridges. SCHEDULE 9:00 AM-Registration Opens 9:30 AM-Opening Ceremonies 10:00 AM-Walk Begins ROUTE A paved three-mile walk along Bay City's River Walk. FOOD & FUN Morning snacks, a light lunch, and lots of family-friendly activities PETS Friendly dogs are welcome if on a leash and if owner cleans up after them.
Genesee County Sunday, April 27, 2014 LOCATION Bicentennial Park, 2001 E. Grand Blanc Road Grand Blanc, MI 48439 SCHEDULE 9:00 AM-Registration Opens 9:30 AM-Opening Ceremonies 10:00 AM-Walk Begins ROUTE A scenic four-mile walk along Grand Blanc's bike path. FOOD & FUN Morning snacks, a light lunch, and lots of family-friendly activities PETS Friendly dogs are welcome if on a leash and if owner cleans up after them.