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School of Medicine discoveries

July 29, 2009

The day that Lexi undergoes a rare brain surgery

Seven-year-old Lexi suffers with kernicterus, a type of brain damage that was caused by excessive jaundice after she was born. A story that appeared in the Sunday, July 26, 2009 edition of the Charlotte Observer chronicles her struggles as well as her family’s hopes that a rare brain surgery may allow her to talk or even walk.

Professor of Neurology Steven Shapiro, M.D., an expert in kernicterus, diagnosed Lexi in July 2004. Five years later, Lexi is prepping for a surgery at the VCU Medical Center that will place electrodes deep inside her brain. A week later, a battery-operated generator will be placed in her abdomen, and on August 24 , 2009, the generators will be turned on

This kind of deep brain stimulation has been used to treat other types of movement disorders but, to Dr. Shapiro’s knowledge, it has not yet been tried on someone with kernicterus.

Read more about Lexi’s story at:

Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Medical Center
School of Medicine
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Updated: 04/29/2016