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Focused Ultrasound: Treating Essential Tremor and Movement Disorders at Penn Medicine

August 27, 2019


(upbeat music) – Focused ultrasound is
a new technique to treat movement disorders
primarily essential tremor, and it involves focused
beams of ultrasonic waves which coalesce on one
part deep in the brain, so as to disrupt tremor
cells and eliminate tremor. This is a noninvasive procedure, which involves no scalpel whatsoever. This procedure involves
really three technologies. The MRI to anatomically
target the location, the focused ultrasound machine to deliver more then a thousand small waves of focused-beam ultrasonic waves which coalesce and focus at a point to deliver the energy to that level, and it involves the technology
of using the MRI machine to measure the temperature at
that point to tightly control the lesion which is going to be made. The primary treatment of essential tremor is medical therapy. For those people whom best
medical therapy has failed or still have prominent functional
issues with their tremor, deep brain stimulation has
been a real game-changer over the last 30 years. Many patients with
essential tremor, however, do not want an invasive operation with its associated risk. Focus beam ultrasound is noninvasive and although it is not risk-free, it does not involve any hardware and it could potentially be done as an outpatient procedure. Put your fingers like this. I’ve seen neurosurgery evolve tremendously in the last 30 years, and this really opens you to looking at different forms of treatment in which I think neurosurgeons
have a huge role to play.

1 Comment

  • Reply chloe elizabeth pipkin- woods August 1, 2019 at 9:32 am

    I'm a 13 year old girl and I have a mild essential tremor and I'm terrified of having to have surgery

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