Anna Henry raised the flute to her mouth, took a deep breath and recalled from memory the notes of one of her favorite classical concertos. Her fingers flitted over the keys as she slowly, carefully played each note. After she finished the song, the room burst into applause.
But this wasn’t a typical concert performance.
Henry, 63, was lying on her back on an operating room table surrounded by doctors and nurses. Part of her scalp was peeled back to expose her skull. Surgeons had drilled two nickel-sized holes into her skull and inserted a tiny 1.3 mm-thick electrode into both sides of her brain where her thalamus is located.
“Deep brain stimulation is a really fantastic tool in how we can modulate a perturbed, dysfunctional system in the brain and make it more normal,” said Albert Fenoy, M.D., neurosurgeon with the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and UTHealth, who specializes in the procedure.