A man has played his guitar while awake during brain surgery

We’ve witnessed guitars being played in all manner of unlikely situations, but we never thought we’d see one being strummed by a man undergoing brain surgery. It’s happened, though - what’s more, it was an essential part of the operation’s success.

The picking patient was Abhishek Prasad, from Bangalore in India, who’d been suffering from a rare neurological condition known as musical dystonia, which was causing cramps in his left hand that were preventing him from playing his beloved six-string.

Surgery was required to correct the problem, but Mr Prasad had to be kept awake and to play the guitar during the procedure in order for it to work. A scanner was set up to ‘map’ the brain, so that Mr Prasad’s surgeon could target problem areas as he received real-time feedback.

Reports suggest that the operation was a success, with Mr Prasad being able to play the guitar for the first time in 20 months when he woke up. He gave up his job in 2012 in order to become a full-time musician, and now has plans to release an album.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.