[Dixielandjazz] Great news on dystonia

Dave Gravatt dave at creolejazz.com
Thu Apr 17 16:21:44 PDT 2003

   -------Original Message-------
   > From: Charlie Hooks 
   > Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Great news on dystonia
   > Sent: Apr 17 2003 14:40:21
   >  Listmates:  
   >      ABC Morning show featured a story this AM about a young man suffering
   >  from a very rare form of dystonia that affects the entire body (not merely
   >  the focal dystonia afflicting brass players like Dan Havens).
   >      There is still no cure, but now the symptoms can be controlled
   >  electronically by implanting wires and tiny batteries under the skin.  The
   >  effect in the featured instance was almost magical--instant relief, a life
   >  given back, symptom-free.
   >      Someone figured out that the dystonia results from nerve cells in the
   >  brain firing too rapidly and causing the muscles to clinch; the treatment is
   >  to control the neurological misfiring with a kind of pacemaker device that
   >  involves placing tiny wires into that specific portion of the brain causing
   >  the disturbance.   The procedure involves no damage to brain tissue, so that
   >  when (if?) a cure is discovered, the wires can be removed.
   >      The tricky part is to find that needle in the cranial haystack, the
   >  exact group of cells out of a billion or so, that is misfiring, and to
   >  direct the electronics to that area.   But doctors have learned to insert a
   >  microscopic microphone and listen to the nerve cells firing: yes, they make
   >  an electronic noise, and identify themselves.  It worked in the instance
   >  featured on ABC this morning.   Whether it will also work in treating focal
   >  dystonia--a condition of the embraschure--is a question not posed this
   >  morning, but surely is worth pursuing.
   >  good luck, guys!
   >  Charlie  


Thanks so much for posting this info. Dan Havens and I played together for three years in St. Louis and he came down with the same focal dystonia that I have about two years after it hit me. After many years of hearing there is no cure, your post is the first positive news I've heard. Thanks again. Will pursue.


Dave Gravatt
"It's a treat to beat your feet."
The Creole Dixieland Jazz Band
Ozark, Missouri

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