Hockey coach turns to Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's - WKRN News 2

Hockey coach turns to Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's treatment

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Brent "Petey" Peterson undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Brent "Petey" Peterson undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Petey's wife of 32 years, Tami Petey's wife of 32 years, Tami
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Brent Peterson, former associate coach for the Nashville Predators, has chosen surgery to help fight his battle against Parkinson's disease. 

The beloved former coach was diagnosed with the disease in 2003 at the age of 44.

It has progressed over the past nine years so in an effort to ease his symptoms, Peterson is undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Tuesday was the second of four parts of the procedure.

Peterson arrived at the hospital early with his parents and Tami, his wife of 32 years, by his side.

"I thought I was okay but I'm feeling a little bit of anxiety," Peterson told Nashville's News 2.  "This is just Phase II so we've got to keep going.  This is the big one where they do all the main work, but we'll get through it."

"I'm really pleased he is doing this," Tami Peterson added.

Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS uses mild electric pulses to stimulate the brain and block the signals that cause Parkinson's symptoms.

The surgery involves implanting a wire in several areas of the brain.  The lead wire is connected to a small pulse generator implanted in the chest.

It can be controlled by the patient and doctor to adjust the electrical pulses to fit each patient's needs.

During the procedure, Peterson was awake and communicating with the neurologist.

He was also moving his hand and right arm, the same arm that stayed tightly by his side for years due to Parkinson's.

While Tuesday was a day Peterson has been waiting for, he still has a long road ahead of him.

"I know this is going to be great because I've been locked up tighter than a drum and shuffling around and having people do things for me so it'll be good when this finally comes through and I can turn it on and off like a charm," he said.

Tuesday's surgery lasted four hours.

Doctors said Peterson did very well, but had some severe head pain following the procedure

He will spend Tuesday night at Vanderbilt Medical Center recovering.

The third part of Peterson's DBS is scheduled for next Monday, December 12.

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