Advanced brain care

Patient praises deep brain stimulation — 'I'm even golfing again.'

Paulette Paquette thought it was reaction to a flu shot when she couldn’t lift her left arm. Then her right leg started to tremor. That’s when she knew that whatever was going on, it was serious.

Several years and many doctor visits later, Paulette was sent to the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, where she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, but there are treatments that alleviate the symptoms.

Doctors put Paulette on medications that worked reasonably well, but she still had times when she found herself frozen in one spot, unable to move.

"Freezing was the worst,” Paulette recalls. “I would tell myself 'Come on, you can do this. You can move.' But no. Nothing. It was awful." 

However, those moments made Paulette a candidate for Deep Brain Stimulation, a surgical procedure used to treat disabling brain conditions.

In June 2014, Dr. Tejas Sankar, a neurosurgeon at the University of Alberta Hospital, implanted electrodes in Paulette’s brain along with a pacemaker-like device under the skin in her upper chest. 

Since her surgery, Paulette feels much closer to her old self again. “I’m golfing. I’m skiing. I can do the two-step.” 

The University Hospital Foundation’s Brain Centre Campaign will help bring the most advanced patient care to the University of Alberta Hospital site.

“Brain disorders affect so many people. It’s critically important that we have the best care  possible right here in Edmonton,” said Jim Brown who, along with Guy Scott, co-chair the Brain Centre Campaign cabinet.

“And it’s not just for Edmonton. It’s for Alberta, Saskatchewan, parts of BC and northern Canada. Almost one in three of the people who come to the University Hospital are from outside the city.” 

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When Kristin Henry had her first of two brain surgeries 13 years ago, she was a popular high school student, champion synchronized skater, and the victim of frequent, near-paralyzing headaches. Surgeons removed as much of her tumour as they could see. A tiny piece of it was left behind, and her headaches soon returned. - See more at: http://www.universityhospitalfoundation.ab.ca/kristin_henry#sthash.8VrYL6Eq.dpuf
 
When Kristin Henry had her first of two brain surgeries 13 years ago, she was a popular high school student, champion synchronized skater, and the victim of frequent, near-paralyzing headaches. Surgeons removed as much of her tumour as they could see. A tiny piece of it was left behind, and her headaches soon returned. - See more at: http://www.universityhospitalfoundation.ab.ca/kristin_henry#sthash.8VrYL6Eq.dpuf
 
When Kristin Henry had her first of two brain surgeries 13 years ago, she was a popular high school student, champion synchronized skater, and the victim of frequent, near-paralyzing headaches. Surgeons removed as much of her tumour as they could see. A tiny piece of it was left behind, and her headaches soon returned. - See more at: http://www.universityhospitalfoundation.ab.ca/kristin_henry#sthash.8VrYL6Eq.dpuf
 
When Kristin Henry had her first of two brain surgeries 13 years ago, she was a popular high school student, champion synchronized skater, and the victim of frequent, near-paralyzing headaches. Surgeons removed as much of her tumour as they could see. A tiny piece of it was left behind, and her headaches soon returned. - See more at: http://www.universityhospitalfoundation.ab.ca/kristin_henry#sthash.8VrYL6Eq.dpuf
 
When Kristin Henry had her first of two brain surgeries 13 years ago, she was a popular high school student, champion synchronized skater, and the victim of frequent, near-paralyzing headaches. Surgeons removed as much of her tumour as they could see. A tiny piece of it was left behind, and her headaches soon returned. - See more at: http://www.universityhospitalfoundation.ab.ca/kristin_henry#sthash.8VrYL6Eq.dpuf
 
When Kristin Henry had her first of two brain surgeries 13 years ago, she was a popular high school student, champion synchronized skater, and the victim of frequent, near-paralyzing headaches. Surgeons removed as much of her tumour as they could see. A tiny piece of it was left behind, and her headaches soon returned. - See more at: http://www.universityhospitalfoundation.ab.ca/kristin_henry#sthash.8VrYL6Eq.dpuf