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Cerebellar stimulation aids victims of intractable hypertonia, epilepsy
Victims of intractable epilepsy and hypertonia have a murky existence, fraught with medical helplessness and personal despair. Equally gloomy—in appearance —are the old buildings housing St. Barnabas Hospital for Chronic Diseases in the Bronx, New York. But inside that hospital, the sun shines a couple of times a week as neurosurgeon Irving S. Cooper, MD, PhD, only 50 years old, adds another bead— possibly the largest yet —to his string of achievements in "functional neurosurgery."As of mid-summer, the majority of more than 30 patients with intractable epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or spasticity due to stroke had experienced marked improvement after the implantation of tiny stimulatory electrodes on the cortex of the cerebellum. Dr. Cooper terms it "the prosthetic mobilization of the inhibitory potential of the cerebellar cortex."One 13-year-old boy with cerebral palsy could not even sit up before his surgery. Now
Medical News. JAMA. 1973;225(12):1441-1450. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220400003002