What a difference a decade makes: Dr. Ivar Mendez

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Published January 1, 2020

A world-leading innovator in brain surgery and robotics, Dr. Ivar Mendez says even he’s been surprised at the pace of change over the last decade.

The video is hard to watch. A teenage girl is lying on a stretcher. She’s rail thin. Her arms are flailing uncontrollably and her legs are twisted at angles so unnatural they almost look broken.

Sitting in his office on the University of Saskatchewan campus, Dr. Ivar Mendez explains that the girl on the screen has dystonia, a condition that causes muscles to contract uncontrollably. Sufferers typically have a hard time keeping weight on, due to the constant strain.

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