Insomnia expert testifies
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — An insomnia researcher took the witness stand in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial on Friday.
Years after the singer’s death, a medical authority on sleep disorders testified that Jackson likely suffered from an undiagnosed condition, which led to his overdose death in June 2009.
Dr. Charles Czeisler, a Harvard researcher, said Jackson was more than sleep deprived. In his opinion, Jackson had total sleep deprivation and his body was wasting.
Czeisler stated that the source of the problem was the very agent Jackson used to fall asleep. Czeisler told the jury that the surgical anesthetic propofol gave Jackson an illusion that he slept, but the way the substance works, the brain does not shut off to give the body rest. Jackson was not getting restorative sleep.
The propofol was administered nightly by Jackson’s personal physician, Conrad Murray. Czeisler said the amount of propofol was “stupendous.”
According pharmacy records, it was more than 4 gallons in less than 3 months — enough for more than 7,000 major surgeries.
Czeisler was called by attorneys for Katherine Jackson, who is suing concert promoter, AEG Live. The plaintiffs contend that AEG executives hired Murray and ignored the pop star’s health problems.
Czeisler says emails between AEG execs listed symptoms such as memory loss, failure to grasp dance moves, paranoia and chills.
The AEG attorney raised questions about AEG’s role, asking Czeisler if he expects a concert promoter to diagnose a sleep disorder.
Czeisler said that if the concert promoter was aware that the artist was having difficulty sleeping, then he would expect that they would get the artist treatment.
About Jackson’s role in caring for his own health, the defense referred to evidence that Jackson’s use of propofol dated back to the 1990s and that Jackson rejected the recommendation of other doctors to seek a sleep disorder specialist.
Czeisler’s response: No one can force anyone to be evaluated or treated.
The plaintiffs will call on a new witness on Monday.The Stanford University professor will testify about ethics.
Michael Jackson’s drug-use discussed during wrongful death trial
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Jurors in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial on Thursday heard from a number of experts on the pop star’s drug-use, including drugs for pain, anxiety and insomnia.
From vials and pill bottles found in the singer’s bedroom to the drugs found in his body, evidence presented in court showed Jackson struggled to sleep.
Were the effects of Jackson’s insomnia visible to AEG executives who are being sued Katherine Jackson? Her attorneys called a sleep disorder expert.
Dr. Charles Czeisler showed graphics to explain how the brain depends on down time to restore the body. He has consulted for astronauts living in the space station, NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, the Rolling Stones and others – all who work and travel around the clock.
The plaintiffs assert that Jackson suffered from a massive build-up of sleep deficiency and that affected his mood, his appetite and his sense of balance. The plaintiffs claim AEG should have noted the symptoms and that Jackson suffered from chills and wrapped himself in blankets, had bouts of paranoia and had trouble grasping dance moves, according to emails to AEG executives.
The remedies Jackson sought, according to testimony, were the pain killer Demerol, anti-anxiety meds and propofol, the sedative that was administered by his doctor, Conrad Murray, which lead to Jackson’s death.
The plaintiffs allege that AEG pressured Jackson to perform and threatened to withhold Murray’s pay if he didn’t restore Jackson’s health.
AEG execs have testified that they never heard of propofol until after Jackson died and that the star had kept his nightly treatments secret.
The defense has also shown evidence to the jury that when Jackson’s health problems surfaced, AEG executives notified the people who were closest to Jackson: his personal managers.