Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kids who can't play sports

For kids, playing sports can be a big deal. If they have a medical problem that prevents them from playing, medical intervention may be the best option. This story is about a family who took some big steps to allow their son to start walking again and ultimately playing sports.

FROM MEDSTAR: Dystonia is a complex problem related to mis-communication from the brain to the muscles. In kids, this condition can rule their lives. But a deep brain treatment can help. Kyle Hausler loves sports, but when he was twelve, he was sidelined by a condition that made it difficult to walk.

Kyle Hausler: Teen Dystonia Patient "I always wanted to be on crutches, but then after the first few days it hurt my arms and I was tired of it, and I just wanted to walk." He was diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes the muscles to spasm. In Kyle's case, it affected his feet and legs.

Dr. Michele Tagliati: neurologist "It looks like the brain loses the ability to pick and chose the right muscles that we need to perform a certain movement." He tried traditional treatments, like medicines and botulinum toxin injections.

Alison Hausler - Mother "But nothing was working. absolutely nothing was giving him any relief. and it was beginning to progress. so we started, you know, asking and talking about DBS." DBS, Deep Brain Stimulation, involves inserting thin wires into the Globus Pallidus, a region blamed for dystonia.

Dr. Ron Alterman, neurosurgeon "The wire that goes in is called a lead, and each lead has four contacts or electrodes, from which we can stimulate the brain." After post-surgical healng is complete, the electrodes are turned on.

Dr. Michele Tagliati - neurologist "And once stimulation starts, it goes on 24/7, day and night, and we never stop stimulating that particular area of the brain." Dr. Tagliati over the past several years, the mount sinai doctors have seen no neurologic complications.

Dr. Ron Alterman
"There's no question that given the potential benefit, that the upside of doing the surgery, far, far outweighs the downside." Kyle's doing great and participates on a travel soccer team as well as a basketball team. the mount sinai doctors are among the leading physicians offering this treatment. they say that as technology improves, it may be possible to cycle the stimulation on and off.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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