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Man's surgery to control Tourette's deemed successful

Man's Surgery To Control Tourette's Deemed Successful

For 10 years, Robbie's Tourette's syndrome was so violent that he was constantly at risk of hurting himself. His mother said he would contort his body in ways she never thought possible. When Robbie was 16, he took part in an experimental procedure that put a device in his brain that would emit electric impulses to help control his tremors.

The surgery took 12 and a half hours to complete, and is extremely rare. Robbie's doctor said that when it was done, less than 100 others worldwide had undergone the treatment.

It seems to have been worth the risk: Three years later, he's only had a few tics.

After coming off his medication, Robbie also lost 120 lbs. He is currently a sophomore at Pratt Institute studying film and has a 4.0 average. Thanks to the surgery, he's finally in control of his body and his life.

Robbie is able to control the device in his brain and can turn up the device to emit more electronic impulses if he feels symptoms coming.

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tph370 January 01 2014 at 11:01 AM

I can see it now, psychiatry will experiment with the brain in similar ways, hurting more, much more, than helping their stigmatized patients.

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lsheaffer January 01 2014 at 10:24 AM

I would love to see the scientists and doctors who develop medical treatments like this get the kind of publicity and credit they deserve, instead of the way that the tabloid media focuses attention on airhead "celebrites" who really do nothing worthwhile.

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Barbara January 01 2014 at 9:48 AM

Happy for you young man. You have a chance at a happy life. So let us make this available for all who need it.

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stndglass2 January 01 2014 at 9:17 AM

About 35 years ago, I knew a man named Louie in FL who suffered from Tourette's so badly that most people who knew him, were actually afraid of him. His life was totally controlled by the disorder. And at that time, little was known about Tourette's, and many thought it was a form of madness. Having few friends, he was shunned by most everyone in town. Sadly, he was a very intelligent and thoughtful person and later died alone in his small apartment. It is wonderful that there seems to be a successful treatment on the horizon for those who are afflicted with this disorder. I am so sad that it came to late for Louie.

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oops02743 January 01 2014 at 9:14 AM

So glad for him.

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mouse January 01 2014 at 9:14 AM

Hooray for science! Good news for those with the problem. I wish they had told us why this is not being done for everyone who have such violent symptoms. With Obamacare, insurance companies must cover it as pre-existing conditions can't be excluded.

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Hi Bob and Rose January 01 2014 at 7:55 AM

God Bless Robbie, be safe and enjoy all the time you missed out on.

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propackage January 01 2014 at 7:54 AM

lets see all of this continue under obamacare

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1 reply to propackage's comment
mouse January 01 2014 at 9:17 AM

It has too, the insurance companies must offer it if a doctor prescribes it and pre-existing conditions must be covered. Don't blame Obamacare, blame the insurance companies and the overcharging of hospitals for things like emptying a trash can. The employees don't get the cash, it goes into the corporate pockets.

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Karen January 01 2014 at 4:02 AM

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Wonderful story, so glad Robbie is now leading a normal life! Gives others with tourette's hope!

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donlair1 January 01 2014 at 3:27 AM

Now go back and read 1st Cor. 2:9-13 again. Marsha.

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