Patient Plays the Guitar as Surgeons Operate on His Brain

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In the middle of brain surgery, this patient strummed his guitar.

Doctors instructed Taskin Ibna Ali, 31, of Bangladesh, to serenade them as they operated in his skull, so they would be sure not to burn away at the areas of his brain that control motor skills.

"He was able to play the guitar very well and also flip a coin and handle a mobile phone," neurosurgeon Dr. Sharan Srinivasan told SWNS.

Taskin suffered from a rare condition called focal hand dystonia, or musician’s cramp, which caused him to lose dexterity in his left hand over the last five years.

The professional guitar player and computer engineer said he started noticing the problem in 2013, when he began noticing discomfort in his left middle finger while playing the guitar. He soon felt the same sensation throughout his whole hand.

Eventually, he began experiencing tremors, involuntary movement in his hand and arm.

To treat the condition, doctors suggest he undergo an operation where surgeons burn away at certain parts of the brain, about three or four inches beneath the surface. The rare procedure is only performed at certain hospitals in India.

“This is performed under local anesthesia because the patient needs to be fully awake and repeatedly play his guitar and also perform other activities he found difficult,” Srinivasan said.

While seemingly bizarre and frightening, Srinivasan said his surgery was a huge success. Taskin regained nearly full use of all his fingers except the middle finger, in which he later regained strength following the operation with the help of neuro rehabilitation.

"He is now retraining his brain circuits to restore his original pattern of playing the guitar," he said. "His ability to perform fine, manipulative movements with his left hand has recovered 100 percent."


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