Minnesota Orchestra associate concertmaster Roger Frisch believed that his career might be over when he began to suffer with essential tremors, which affected his ability to bow smoothly. A common condition, the tremors are caused when the part of the brain which controls movement misfires, sending erroneous signals to the body’s muscles.
The violinist therefore elected to undergo deep brain stimulation, a procedure which involves implanting an electrode into the brain which sends signals and counteracts the bad pulses. In a first for the procedure, Frisch played his violin during the surgery so that doctors could pinpoint the exact location of the misfiring brain cells.
The results were instant and remarkable.
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