Dystonia
Brain

In 2007, Alex was diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. The contractions force the body into repetitive, writhing movements, as well as awkward, irregular postures. Presently, there is no cure for dystonia, but multiple treatment options exist, including physical, speech and voice therapy, medications, Botox and surgery.

Alex, a former dancer, sought emotional inspiration from someone who understood what living with a debilitating disease was like. The Doctors arranged for talk show host and best-selling author Montel Williams, who lives with multiple sclerosis, to meet with Alex. Montel then took Alex, who had not been out in public for nearly six months, to Rodeo Drive to face her fears.

Montel became a patient advocate for Alex, and took her to Massachusetts General Hospital to shed some light on her particular case. She met with neurologist Dr. Nutan Sharma and neurosurgeon Dr. Emad Eskandar, who informed Alex that she was a candidate for deep brain stimulation, a high-risk surgery that implants a battery-powered neurotransmitter into the brain to interrupt pathways responsible for the involuntary spasms she experiences.

Alex undergoes deep-brain stimulation
See Alex's incredible results!

Related:
Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease
Deep brain stimulation for Tourette's syndrome

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