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PCH uses deep brain stimulation to treat Dystonia sufferers

PHOENIX — Several children who suffer from a neurological movement disorder known as Dystonia have made amazing recoveries at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Kaitlyn Bryson and Manuel Ortiz both appeared to be healthy kids until the condition left them twisting, making repetitive movements and having abnormal postures.

“We have children who are normally progressing in life, and then they go to serious deterioration stepwise, said Doctor Ratan Bardwaj. “They go from normal kids playing in a park, to stepwise deterioration where they’re bed bound.”

Both Bryson and Ortiz were treated with something called deep brain stimulation.

“It’s an operation where we implant electrodes deep in the brain, and then tunnel to a battery in the chest or abdomen,” Bardwaj said. “We can then program it from the outside skin after that.”

Kaitlyn’s mother, Carrie Bryson, says it’s been a long road for her daughter.

She and Kaitlyn were both crying as Carre described the ordeal.

“The best way to describe it, is a little girl laying on a blanket and not being able to do anything,” said Carrie. “That fact that she’s sitting here today is really miraculous.”

Bardwaj said that something that Kaitlyn said has inspired him. “She said to me ‘Thank you for making me feel more human,” said Bardwaj.

Meanwhile Ortiz was able to run around as his sister was chasing him around a garden area of the hospital on Friday.

The hospital has used the operation to treat six patients so far.


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