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Christmas wish granted for mother with Parkinson's disease

8:27 PM, Dec 24, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER- A Christmas wish has been granted for a mother of four from Colorado Springs.

Traci Bartalo has advanced Parkinson's. For more than a decade, she's been plagued by the tremors, commonly associated with the disease. Now, she's undergoing deep brain stimulation at University of Colorado Hospital to help alleviate some of them.

Last month, two wires were surgically implanted in her brain. They run down her neck and into a device in her chest.

"When you stimulate that node, you override the abnormal signals that that area of the brain is transmitting and you allow a patient to move normally," said Dr. Aviva Abosch, neurosurgeon with University of Colorado Hospital.

This week, the device was turned on and adjusted to Bartalo's specific needs. She can now move her wrist, tap her fingers and toes, even walk normally.

"It's a new day. It's a new beginning. I am excited for this opportunity. Even if it works even a little bit, it's better than what I've got," Bartalo said.

In addition to easing her tremors, deep brain stimulation also means Traci will be able to take fewer medications.

Doctors caution this procedure isn't for everyone. Patients have to undergo a thorough evaluation by a team of doctors. They also have to be responding well to their current medications.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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