Former Preds’ coach gives hope to other Parkinson’s patients

Former Preds' coach gives hope to other Parkinson's patients (Image 1)

On Tuesday morning, Brent Peterson, former associate coach for the Nashville Predators, underwent his last Deep Brain Stimulation procedure as a form of treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Peterson, 53, was diagnosed with the disease nine years ago.

He told Nashville's News 2 he decided to undergo the radical DBS treatment, which involved brain surgery, as a way to help restore some of what Parkinson's had taken away from him.

Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville implanted electrodes in Peterson's brain and attached them to a thin wire that runs down his neck and connects to a small battery-operated stimulator in his chest.

During stage four of the procedure, Dr. Tom Davis activated the implanted device by using a hand held controller.  

“I can feel it coming out of the dead zone I'm usually in,” said Peterson as he moved his right hand, which has remained tightly by his side for years.

For Peterson, tasks as simple as walking down a hall have become challenging. 

After Dr. Davis tweaked the device, Peterson was able to walk, not shuffle without any problem at all.

“It's a lifesaver. It's a lifesaver for me and it's pretty cool just to be able to do the things you couldn't do before,” said Peterson.

DBS does not work for every Parkinson's patient, but Peterson said he never gave up hope doctors would restore his functioning and his life.

Doctors said Peterson's symptoms will continue to improve during the next six months. 

Peterson said one of the things he is looking forward to the most post-procedure is returning to the golf course.

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