An addict who developed Parkinson’s-like symptoms from a nasty batch of heroin has helped researchers find a new way to treat the disease. In prison for attempted murder, Toby Govea agreed to be a human guinea pig – and let doctors experiment with “deep brain stimulation," drilling a hole in his head and slipping in a thin electrical wire, Wired reports.
Charged by a battery in his stomach, the wire fired electrical activity into his brain, "reasserting a more normal rhythm to this part of the brain... a more normal firing pattern," says one doctor. Now Govea can control his violent shaking and even read a newspaper without tearing it apart. He’s still in prison, but Parkinson’s sufferers can thank him for testing their best surgical treatment.