Showing posts from January, 2014

Possessed by a demon

As he watched her stir her cup of tea, Neville Anderson knew his love of 51 years was back. The Titirangi man had watched helplessly as the life of his once-active, social high school sweetheart ebbed away to Parkinson's disease. Diagnosed 11 years ago, Christine relied on three pills, three hours daily to ease the chronic trembling. But while replenishing the depleted dopamine in her brain, the chemical messenger responsible for movement, there was little for the involuntary jerks or dyskinesia that her body would often make as it reacted to the drugs. At times she could not talk or sit. Sometimes she could barely move, she said. "It's like your body's possessed by a demon." That was last year. Today, Christine Anderson is a completely different woman. The 67-year-old is one of 51 movement disorder patients to have undergone deep-brain stimulation surgery after it became available in New Zealand in 2009. The major surgery allows some patients t