British toddler is world’s youngest to have deep brain treatment
A toddler from Scotland has become the world's youngest deep brain stimulation patient.
Viktoria Kaftanikaite, from Glasgow, was just 32 months old when she had electrodes placed deep inside her brain to treat a condition called dystonia in May.
The rare genetic condition causes her arms and legs to flail about, her mouth to twitch and leaves her screaming in pain, unable to eat and causes breathing difficulties.
It can be caused by inherited genetic problems,cerebral palsy or other brain injuries.
As a result of the condition, Viktoria has spent five months in intensive care at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, the BBC reports.
Doctors hope the surgery – which involved drilling holes in to her skull and implanting electrodes – will improve her quality of life.
It could also mean this kind of surgery is used on young people in the future.
Little Viktoria was diagnosed with a rare mutation in the GNAO1 gene and was referred to neurologists at Evelina Hospital in London.
Her parents had realised something was wrong when she didn't reach the usual development milestones like holding toys and holding her head up – but she should be able to learn these skills now.
The prospect of surgery was terrifying for her mum, Patrycja Majewska.
She told BBC Scotland: "We were worried what would happen. You hear the words brain operation and worry. We were scared she would not wake up.
"Life was difficult. She was two-and-a-half. She was exhausted and had no life. She was basically screaming for two-an-a-half-years. She would cry in pain for up to five hours at a time and sleep maybe one in 24 hours.
"There was no decision really. If we didn't try this, she would die anyway."
During the four-hour procedure, which uses state-of-the-art robotic and intra-operative imaging equipment, surgeons drilled two holes the size of a 5p coin into the top of Viktoria's skull and implanted two electrodes into the area deep inside the brain which controls movement.
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