LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - August 13, 2013) - Millions watched as musician Brad Carter was required to remain awake and coherent during a seven hour brain surgery at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Brad played his guitar in the operating room enabling surgeons to accurately position and adjust the electrode being placed into his thalamus. Now, just two months after his surgery Brad Carter is gearing up to record his first full-length album.
A musician most of his life, Brad has struggled with Essential Tremor for the past seven years, severely affecting his right arm, hand, and fingers, rendering his finger-picking style of guitar playing almost impossible. Brad's recent surgery has given him hope of achieving a long-time dream of recording an album.
Although there is no cure for essential tremor, a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedure can help improve the quality of a patient's life. "I do this surgery to improve a patient's quality of life and their function," said Dr. Nader Pouratian, UCLA Neurosurgeon and Associate professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Seeing Brad back to what he loves doing, and feeling like he's getting better at it is the most gratifying thing I can do."
As the 500th patient to undergo DBS at UCLA Medical Center, Brad's surgery was live-streamed via Vine and tweeted all across the world, over 30 million people watched, including famed actor William Shatner who tweeted "You are in my thoughts this morning while you are undergoing your operation," and followed that tweet with, "I saw you on the news tonight. Congratulations!"
Brad remained awake for six hours of the seven hour surgery, playing guitar and drawing with pen and paper, to gauge coordination and function of his right hand. "It was a very surreal experience to be awake while doctors are inside of your head," said Brad, "I made jokes the whole time, to make the staff laugh, and to keep myself calm. It really helped to have something as personal as my guitar with me to divert my attention from the obvious distractions."
Superstar skateboarder Tony Hawk is one of many cheering on Brad, "He's an awesome guitarist and a hilarious dude, and he deserves a chance before he can't actually play, but let's hope that medical technology allows him to keep playing."
Doctors are uncertain whether Carter's condition will progress into Parkinson's. If that is the case, chances are likely Brad will need another brain surgery for optimal placement of the electrodes.
"I'm optimistic, because I have to be. Otherwise, what was this all for?" Regardless of the results, Brad plans to record his first studio album early 2014.
"If this surgery can help prolong my musical creativity long enough to record and produce an album, I'll be very grateful," said Brad. "I have music that I'd like to share with the world that will be around long after my ability to play my guitar."
To help make this album a reality visit: http://www.BradCarterKickstarter.com
About Brad Carter: Originally from Macon, Georgia Brad is an accomplished artist, actor, and musician currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif. http://www.BradCarter.me
About Essential Tremor: Essential Tremor is a progressive neurological disease, a type of involuntary shaking movement in which no cause can be identified, and with no known cure. The true cause of essential tremor is still not understood, but it is thought that the abnormal brain activity that causes tremor is processed through the thalamus.
About Deep Brain Stimulation: DBS involves the implantation of a brain pacemaker which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain, and is a way to inactivate the thalamus without purposefully destroying the brain. DBS provides moderate relief for approximately 90% of patients with essential tremor.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Essential Tremor
- brain surgery
- UCLA Medical Center