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Watch a Minnesota Orchestra violinist receive brain surgery - while playing

Posted at 11:27 AM on August 12, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Fun finds

20140812_brain_violin_92.jpg

In a remarkable video from 2010, Rochester's Mayo Clinic shows Minnesota Orchestra violinist Roger Frisch having electrodes implanted into his brain — while he plays.

The experimental procedure was performed to address a tremor that Frisch has recently developed in his hands. While the tremor is relatively slight, it was affecting Frisch's ability to perform the extremely subtle hand movements required of a concert violinist.

The solution devised by surgeon Kendall Lee was to implant electrodes intended to stimulate Frisch's brain in a manner that can reduce such tremors. The trick was for Lee and his team to find the exact location in Frisch's brain to embed the electrodes for maximum effectiveness. To zero in on the right spot, they actually had Frisch play his violin while being operated on.

Frisch now has a device that he can activate with the flick of a switch to turn the electrodes on — and his tremors off.