The Quest for a Voice | Your Fantastic Mind: Ep. 4

The Quest for a Voice | Your Fantastic Mind: Ep. 4


♪♪ Welcome to
“Your Fantastic Mind.” I’m Jaye Watson. This is a show where
we explore the mysteries and the science of
the amazing human brain. Jamie Dupree has been a
radio news correspondent for over 30 years. He’s covered politics
in our nation’s capital most of that time. And then two years ago,
he lost his voice. The very tool that
helped him make a living. Since then,
he has been on a journey to get his voice,
and his old life, back.Let me say it this way,I think Chairman Gowdy’s
initial assessment is accurate.
(Jaye Watson)
When you’ve done something
for 32 years,
there’s an automatic rhythm,one in which your feet
know the way,
because they’ve walked
these sidewalks,
these stairs,
these hallways
thousands of times.It is this familiar
routine in a career
that breeds expertise
and burnout.
In Jamie Dupree’s case,all he has ever wanted to do
is exactly this.
…we’ll be digging through
all the details on healthcare reform.(Jaye Watson)
A radio news correspondent
for Cox Radio,
based in Washington D.C.…that I didn’t think
he needed to do. Right. He should just
let it go.(Donald Trump)
Thank you all
for being here.
This is, uh…(Jaye Watson)
Dupree has covered the
United States Congress
and politics under
six different presidents.
In the basement of
the Russell Federal Building,
Dupree and other journalists
await politicians’
coming and going
from the Capitol.
I haven’t looked at
the information, but I have–(Jaye)
Dupree doesn’t ask Senator
Lindsey Graham a question,
and this is why.Every day, I-I get up,
and I hope that overnight
it is solved.(Jaye)
To and a half years ago,
this 55-year-old
married dad of three kids
lost his voice.(woman)
Last name, Dupree.
(Jaye)
Two dozen experts
and thousands of miles
traveled around
the country later,
he is still
searching for answers
and treatment
that will work.
Um, during the time,
it got worse, and worse, and worse.(Jaye)
Dupree has flown
to Atlanta
to see neurologist
Dr. Hyder Jinnah
at Emory Brain Health.All right, good.
Open and close
your hands for me. Just walk naturally. Okay, I’m just gonna put
my finger on your chin. I’m gonna touch my
finger with this. Uh-huh. Touch your nose.
Go back and forth. Stop right there.(Jaye)
Dupree does well on tests
not involving speech.
(Dr. Hyder Jinnah)
Good. Come on back.
I want you to say
a few things for me.
(laughing)We mow our lawn
every year.
Yeah–
No. Um…(laughing)We mow our lawn
every year.(Dr. Jinnah)
He has a problem that
falls in the category
of disorders known
as the Dystonias.
Somehow, the brain
gets the signal wrong, and it sort of
overdoes the movement. So the muscles
contract too strong. They occasionally
go into spasm. He had-had…(Dr. Jinnah)
Mr. Dupree,
when he speaks,
his tongue is doing
way more than it should.
It’s contracting,
it’s going up, it’s going out,
it’s going down, and it shouldn’t
be doing all that stuff.(Jaye)
Dystonia is the third most
common movement disorder
behind tremor and
Parkinson’s disease,
but Jamie’s dystonia is rare
and difficult to treat.
Scientists know that
dystonia begins
in the regions
of the brain
involved
movement control.
This motor circuit
includes the motor cortex,
cerebellum,
and basal ganglia.
Exactly where dystonia
begins is not known.
It can be genetic,and sometimes triggered
by an event.
In Jamie’s case, he got
sick on a family vacation
to England, and says
it morphed into a heart event,
an a trip to the ER
when he got back home.
After that,
his voice faded away.
We believe that it’s
something you were born with, a tendency
to be at risk for this. But you weren’t gonna
develop the problem until you got exposed
to something else, which could have been
that virus. Mm-hmm. And then those
two things together are what triggered the
evolution of the problem, so it’s not the virus
by itself.(Jaye)
People like Dupree,
who use their voice a lot,
develop this type
of dystonia more often.
Again, it’s a bit
of a mystery,
but it’s something about
repetitive use
that can predispose things
to go awry.
An expert patient
at this point,
Dupree asked Dr. Jinnah
for the bottom line.
Yeah. Yeah, so the
bottom line… The bottom line is that
I would call this a segmental dystonia that involves your-
your voice box, your pharynx,
and probably your tongue
and lips as well. Uh, and this problem is
challenging to treat with any of the
available options. These options would
include medicines, and there are
a few others
we could try. Botulinum toxin injections
into the tongue, uh, and deep brain
stimulation surgery. So those are the three
options that we would have.(Jaye)
Dupree opts to have
botulinum toxin injections.
The most common botulinum
toxin is botox.
The injections
will be in his tongue
to try to relax and
help with the thrusting.
Uh, it may help you…(Jaye)
Dr. Jinnah has told him,
his chances of improvement
are 50% or less.
(Dr. Jinnah)
But we certainly
can’t promise anything.
When it’s in your tongue,
very hard to treat because the tongue is
such a complicated muscle. Uh, we don’t think about
the tongue as a muscle, but it really is. It’s a complicated muscle, uh, and so to get the medicine
exactly in the right place at the right dose
is hard.(Jaye)
That just putting something
in there helps you speak?
Toothpick.Toothpick.Just one. You know, if I get in
there, it will sort of move stuff around,
and I can hold my mouth maybe a different way, and, uh,
a little more out.But something larger
works even better?
Uh… no.Okay.Um, I can have, you know, that,
and hold onto my glasses. A little…(Jaye)
It’s clear Dupree would
prefer to be telling a story,
not be the subject
of it.
But privacy and
Washington D.C. politics
do not coexist.Dupree says he was deeply
moved when lawmakers
spoke of his struggle
on the floor of the house.
Mister speaker,
Jamie Dupree is a perfect example
of the positive role that devoted
and professional journalists play in our free society, and I wish him and his
family all the best during this
most difficult time. Thank you, Jamie.
Godspeed.(Jaye)
He wants his voice back
for his job.
He desperately needs it
back for his life.
And then my daughter
Elizabeth, uh, Henry, Ted. Uh, how hard to say
their name the right way.(Jaye)
In our interview,
Dupree holds a marker
between his teeth.
It helps to control
his tongue,
so he can speak.To describe life
as a husband and father
who must fight
for each word.
Anyone who has children, you want to talk
to them, and give them advice,
and help. It’s hard to do when you
go, “Yes, no, uh-huh, “uh-uh, oh, wow,
uh-huh. Well–“(Jaye)
He has learned to trick
his misfiring brain.
Yeah, you know if I tried
to talk like a muppet, I can get
a little more out.(Jaye)
But it never
works for long.
There is one tiny area
of his life
that has improved.My golf game
has improved… by three shots
in a year. Why? Well… I don’t talk to anyone
that I’m playing with, so I’m more focused.(reporter)
WSP Washington correspondent,
Jamie Dupree–
(Jaye)
One thrilling development
is Jamie 2.0.
A Scottish company
sifted through years
of his archived audio
and built a voice.
He writes his stories,and his new voice
delivers them.
He is back on
the airwaves.
(computerized voice)
As the justices left open
the underlying issue
of the partisan drawing
of legislative
district lines.
(reporter)
Be sure and check out
Jamie’s blog at wspradio.com
where you can also
read more about
Jamie’s new voice.WSP News Time coming up
on the 11:01.
(radio chatter)(man)
Feel good?
Damn, that’s good. That is good.(Jaye)
Still, the most
painful moments
can come from trying to do
the simplest things,
like talk to a friend.I call, um–
every once in a while, I call a friend
on the phone, and they, um,
they can’t believe that I’m calling them, and, um,
I get off the phone, and I cry, because, um, because all I want
to do is talk. Um, and, uh, the odd part is
that when, um, when I cry,
I talk better.(chuckling)(Jaye)
Jamie returns to Atlanta
six weeks later
for the first set
of injections.
The muscles that push
your tongue out are actually
deep in your mouth under your tongue, so we usually actually
just go right up in here.Mm-hmm.And we can get to
the tongue that way. All right. Does that make sense? Yeah. Give it a try. Mm-hmm. I am going to attach
a little device here that helps us measure
and listen to muscles as we’re going through. You’re okay. You can just leave your hands
right where they are.(Jaye)
Just a few minutes later,
it’s done.
And that’s it. Cool. How you doing? Oh, fine. Now, um, we wait,
and, uh– And I hope.(Jaye)
Eight weeks later
in Washington D.C.
No difference. No. Um, there was
no, um, miracle, but, um, I, uh, never thought
there would be one.(Jaye)
The first injections
were conservative
to make sure he could
tolerate the botulinum toxin.
Dupree returns
to Atlanta again,
this time for more.The results
are no better.
Have you ever worried
that this is going to be
the rest of your life?Mm-hmm. Um, look, uh,
what am I supposed to do? Curl up in the corner? Give up. I’ve got three kids. I’ve got a wife. Uh, it’s not my, uh, um, I am not gonna give up. ♪♪Not giving up means
still coaching his son’s
baseball team,
and being a dad
and husband,
and working.In the Senate Radio
and TV Gallery,
Dupree runs into longtime
colleague, Anne Ball.
I’ve had to be resilient
and sometimes I-I think about you
and gain strength from you. Good. You know?(Jaye)
There is no time for
self pity or despair.
There are press conferences
to attend,
politicians to track down,and stories to be written
in a tiny cubby
filled with gear
and memorabilia
from yesteryear.But it gets the job done,
like Jamie Dupree.
Things have changed, not all for the better, but he is still here, and he will not give up
the search for his voice. ♪♪ I am the chief of the
human motor control sectionat the National Institute
of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke.
So we’re going to be
talking about,
uh, focal dystonias.Focal means that it’s just
one place in the body.Dystonia involves
abnormal muscle spasms
that lead to, uh,
distorted postures and abnormal motor control, and these focal dystonias
can involve different parts
of the body. Uh, one of my
principal interests has been focal dystonia
of the hand.One of the most common
is writer’s cramp,
uh, because people tend
to write a lot.
Um, and another
common disorder
is different types of
musician’s cramp…
(playing piano music)particularly piano cramp,and again, the frequency
of these focal dystonias
of the hand relate
to a certain extent
to the frequency
of what people do.
Writer’s cramp
is most common
because most people write.In terms of
musicians cramp,
piano player’s cramp
is the most common,
because that’s the most
common instrument
that people play.Writers cramp,
musicians cramp
are not painful
situations.
Uh, it appears
in the patients
as a motor control
problem.
They feel they lose
control of their hand
as they’re doing
an activity,
but it doesn’t hurt.Uh, it isn’t painful.Writer’s cramp,
or musician’s cramp is a cramp
in the brain. It’s not a cramp
in the muscle.Focal dystonia
is a problem of the brain,
and specifically
the brain’s control
of the muscles.Obviously,
when people move,
those, uh, commands
to make movements
come from the brain.Uh, mediated through
the spinal cord,
so the brain sends signals
down to the spinal cord,
the spinal cord
sends signals to the muscle,
uh, to cause
the contraction.
In dystonia,
if you look at the brain,
at least superficially,it looks normal,
so, uh,
it’s not easy to say,
well, there is the problem.
We can see that
there are abnormalities in the basal ganglia. These are the deep,
deep nuclei in the brain, and, uh, we have evidence,
for example, that there is an abnormality
of dopamine releasein the basal ganglia
with movement.
There are abnormalities also in other
neurotransmitter systems such as, uh, GABA, which is an inhibitory
neurotransmitter. So we are beginning
to identify problems.The best treatment options
that we have at the moment,
uh, relate to
focal injections
of botulinum neurotoxin,and so it’s
a symptomatic treatment.
It is not an ideological
treatment for the disorder, but it can help.There are some people
that are probably
predisposed to this.Dystonia like almost
anything else
is not a single cause.There are probably
multiple causes.
♪♪ Did you know that if
you’re good at spatial memory, like knowing your way
around a city, chances are you have
an excellent sense of smell. Researchers at
McGill University in Canada had study participants
take a tour througha virtual city,
and find direct routes
between landmarks.
Then they had these
57 participants
identify
40 different smells.
Everything from basil,
to cinnamon, to strawberries.
Well, it turns out, the people
that were best at navigating
were also best at identifying
those different smells,
and that’s because similar
regions in the brain,
the hippocampus and the
medial orbital frontal cortex
are both involved in these
seemingly different activities.
It builds on a theory that the reason
our sense of smell evolved is for navigation since animals rely on
their sense of smell to find food
and avoid predators. What makes for
a great doctor? Well, some might say
a good bedside manner. Others might say
a brilliant mind is critically important, but in one class at Emory
University School of Medicine, psychiatry residents
are learning that art, literature,
and music can help them become
better physicians.(Dr. Andrew Furman)
So this is a painting
by Diego Velazquez,
and he painted it
in 1656.
(Jaye)
A dip into art history
is not a typical way
to begin class
for third year
psychiatry residents.
These students have had
four years of med school,
and are in the third
of four more years
of residency before
they become
full fledged
psychiatrists.
Theirs is a world of
science, of research,
of systems
and diagnoses.
(Dr. Andrew Furman)
The painting is a very
large painting
of a slice of life
of the royal family.
It’s a painting ostensibly of
the Infanta Margaret Theresa, who was at the time
of the painting, the only child
of King Philip IV and Queen Mariana
of Austria,who were the king
and queen of Spain.
(Jaye)
In psychiatrist,
Dr. Andrew Furman’s
humanities based psychiatric
case conference class,
art, music,
and literature are used
to breed a better
physician.
A lot of what we do in our
education of future physiciansis to help them
understand the pathology
and the ideology
of disease.
But we don’t do as good
a job, I don’t think,
in teaching them
how to relate to the person
who has the disease.I think there was
some curiosity, like, oh, we’re gonna be
reading poems and looking at art, and this is somehow
going to make usdoctors or something?There is science to
support using humanities to help teach physicians. One study shows that
reading literature over nonfiction,
or pulp fiction, can change something
called theory of mind, which is a person’s
intuitive understanding of their own,
and other people’s minds. Mental states,
beliefs and thoughts. Basically, it helps us
understand ourselves and others
on a deeper level. It did show some positive
data to show that folks who read
a literary story, changed in their ability to then judge
someone else. The hypothesis behind it,
which is really cool, is that literary fiction
makes you think complexly about people.(Jaye)
As does this
iconic painting,
whose subject appears
to be the blonde princess.
(Dr. Furman)
Who or what do you think
is the subject
of the painting.(Jaye)
Until you realize
everyone is looking
outside the painting.That Diego Velazquez
has even painted himself
into it, and he’s not
painting the princess.
It’s a small detail
that reveals the truth.
(Dr. Furman)
If you look
at the painting,
right in the center of it
is a mirror,
and you see two little
figures in the mirror, and those two figures
in the mirror are actually a reflection
of the king and queen.(Jaye)
As the viewer, you realize
where you’re standing.
(Dr. Furman)
That we are in the same spot
as the king and queen,which is really
quite remarkable.(Jaye)
So how does this
relate to being
a better psychiatrist.
It’s easy for
physicians to say, “Ah, this is pretty clear.
You are the patient. “You are the one
with the illness.” This painting says it’s much
more complicated than that. That the nature of the
relationship brings us together, and that it
de-centers us, and it makes the-the
future physician, hopefully,um, think more complexly
about the nature
of the relationship.(Jaye)
The students then listen
to the song “Strange Fruit,”
made famous when
Billie Holiday sang it in 1939.
It’s a song
that waxes poetic
about scenes of
the gallant South,
but the title,
“Strange Fruit,”
refers to what’s hanging
from the poplar trees.
♪ Black bodies swinging
in the sullen breeze ♪
You’re talking about a man
who’s been murdered, and, you know,
he’s just strange fruit?(Jaye)
New York City school teacher
Abel Meeropol
wrote the song about the
1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp
and Abram Smith,
the visceral contrast
between the beauty
and cruelty of the South
speaks to the contrast
within all of us.
The very ugly sides
of human nature.(Dr. Furman)
And-and how absolutely
intertwined they are.
Stories are enormously
complicated.Enormously so.And we need to wrestle with
all of those complications,and this song says
look deeper,
look deeper,
look deeper.
Literally look at
the roots of things.
We need to
continually do that.
(Jaye)
As the semester
draws to a close,
the impact on future
psychiatrists is evident.
The humanities play
a role in your life. I think that what this course
has allowed us to do is explore stories
in a way, and listen for stories
more than- than, sort of through
our routine training that we receive. I feel like we can
find a human story, um, everywhere.(Jaye)
The arts don’t just help
make better physicians.
They can make for a better,
deeper human experience
in a world
where nothing is simple.
Going home
and reading a poem, or going to an art museum
and seeing an art– or going– seeing art. Or going to-to a play
and-and seeing that, or listening to music, if you really sort of try
to involve yourself in it, it helps you look at
the world in different, more complex,
more nuanced sorts of ways, and I come from
a position where complexity and nuances
is really important. I think making things simple
doesn’t often help things. Life is moving
faster than ever. With technology
at our fingertips, and often in front of
our faces, it can sometimes
feel like we’re skimming over
the surface of our lives at warp speed. Investing time and
attention in a book, or a piece of art,
or music, is an investment
that gives a return by helping us better
connect with others and ourselves. That’s gonna do it
for us this week. We’ll see you next time
on “Your Fantastic Mind.” ♪♪

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *