Maryland’s Health Matters - UMMS - Summer 2015 - (Page 1)

SPOTLIGHT: Brain POWER ''I Deep brain stimulation helps many patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders After deep brain stimulation surgery and treatment, Supereena Kapoor was able to walk again. She's pictured with Howard Eisenberg, MD, left, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at UMMC, and Paul Fishman, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. t can't be true-they're wrong," Super- dystonia, a neurological disorder characterized eena Kapoor thought after doctors by involuntary muscle spasms. She also had diagnosed her with Parkinson's dis- trouble moving around at home and at her job ease. Kapoor was barely in her 30s and for a biotechnology company. a mother of two young children. Didn't Parkinson's occur only in "old people"? Kapoor also didn't have the tremors often asso- "Physically, you don't look like there's anything wrong with you," she says. "But you could be walking one minute and frozen the next. That's ciated with the disease-but the Arnold resident devastating to most young-onset patients, because had difficulty writing, and the sensation of a heavi- you're right smack in the middle of everything." ness on one side of her body. "My whole right side seemed like it was dying," she says. In 2007, eight years after her diagnosis, Kapoor left her job to minimize stress and to focus on Researchers estimate that 10 to 20 percent of home life and her children. Her disease contin- patients with Parkinson's disease are younger ued to progress, though, and by 2011 she was in a than 50, like Kapoor. Doctors prescribed medica- wheelchair and taking medication every half-hour. tions to manage her symptoms, which helped. "I couldn't drive anymore. All my independence But over the years, the disease took a cumula- had been taken away," she says. "And I had two tive toll, physically and mentally. She developed kids to raise." †  Parkinson's disease occurs when an important area of the brain stops 

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maryland’s Health Matters - UMMS - Summer 2015

Maryland’s Health Matters - UMMS - Summer 2015