A girl from Scotland has become the world's youngest patient of ground-breaking brain surgery at the age of two and a half years old.
Viktoria Kaftanikaite had deep brain stimulation (DBS), which sends electrical impulses through the brain to fix abnormal nerve signals.
She was diagnosed with dystonia shortly before her operation, a condition would send her body into uncontrollable shaking and spasms.
Her parents, Patrycja Majewska and Martinas Kaftanikaite, said they felt helpless trying to care for their daughter, who struggled to eat and breathe.
Doctors said they operated on Viktoria in order to save her life because, in a very small number of cases, dystonia can be fatal.
They were extremely cautious but everything 'worked like clockwork', offering promise for future patients with movement disorders.
After the four-hour operation at Evelina Hospital in London in May, Viktoria is recovering in intensive care in her home city, Glasgow.
Viktoria Kaftanikaite has become the youngest person in the world to receive ground-breaking brain surgery at the age of two and a half years old. Pictured with her mother after
Viktoria was the youngest patient to have deep brain stimulation (DBS), which sends electrical impulses through the brain to fix abnormal communication. Pictured, during surgery
Viktoria's muscles would go into extreme spasm, leaving her screaming in unbearable pain. She was in intensive care for five months at The Royal Children for Hospital, Glasgow (pictured) while doctors tried to figure out why
According to the Dystonia Society, DBS can cause a reduction in symptoms by up to 80 per cent. However, one in five patients don't get much relief.
Ideally, DBS should be offered to children as early as possible, because the effects wear off the longer a patient lives with dystonia.
But before Viktoria, the youngest person to receive DBS was a three-year-old boy, as surgeons have gradually been using the treatment for young people with caution.
Dr Jean-Pierre Lin, the consultant paediatric neurologist who coordinated Viktoria's treatment, told The Guardian that operating on Viktoria had 'broken the sound barrier' for age limitations.
Dystonia is estimated to affect 70,000 people in the UK of varying ages, according to The Dystonia Society, and can be caused by other conditions such as cerebral palsy or a stroke.
It took two years before Viktoria's dystonia was diagnosed, and medics found it was caused by a rare mutation in the GNA01 gene.
The most severe form of dystonia has a 10 per cent death rate, and Dr Lin said Viktoria would have died without the surgery.
Viktoria's arms, legs, eyes and mouth would constantly twitch, which stopped her from eating and also affected her ability to breathe by herself.
Her muscles would go into extreme spasm, leaving her screaming in unbearable pain.
Viktoria's parents, Patrycja Majewska and Martinas Kaftanikaite, said they felt helpless trying to care for their daughter. Pictured after the surgery
Doctors said they operated on Viktoria in order to save her life. She struggled to eat or breathe unassisted due to her constant mouth twitches and flailing arms
DBS involves implanting very fine wires with electrodes at their tips into the brain by drilling two 5p piece holes into the top of the skull. Pictured, the surgery in process
The four-hour operation took place at Evelina Hospital in London in May
Ms Majewska said: 'Viktoria had out of control movements all the time. Her arms and legs wouldn’t move normally and she was pushing her head down and her belly up.
Dystonia is the name for uncontrolled and sometimes painful muscle spasms.
The symptoms vary between patients but most often causes one part of the body or several to shake, twitch or twist.
Dystonia, of which there are different types, is thought to be caused by a problem with the part of the brain that controls movement. Often the cause is unknown, but sometimes it can be due to an inherited genetic problem, Parkinson's disease, a stroke, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.
Dystonia which starts in adult life usually remains focal to one part of the body. If dystonia starts in childhood, it tends to spread across