MR-guided Focused Ultrasound is a medical imaging treatment for patients who suffer from essential tremor.

For the first time in the Philadelphia region, patients who suffer from essential tremor (ET) will have access to a MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Therapy for Essential Tremor

Essential Tremor MRgFUS

Essential Tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder affecting approximately 10 million individuals in the U.S. ET can be disabling and embarrassing.  Individuals with ET may experience significant tremor of the hands, which can impair a person's ability to perform daily tasks. People with ET shake without trying to do so and are not able to stop the shaking at will. There is no identified cause of ET.

Traditional treatment options for ET include medication, surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS).

What is MR-guided Focused Ultrasound?

Focused ultrasound is performed while the patient is awake. It is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that involves radiofrequency—focused beams of acoustic energy—to heat and destroy a small, targeted area of tissue in the brain without harming adjacent tissues. To ensure patient safety, focused ultrasound uses an MRI thermal imaging system that measures temperature changes in the skull.

This new procedure allows the physician to perform a safe and effective non-invasive therapy with little to no harm to the surrounding tissue and with minimal side effects.

Benefits

Some benefits of Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of ET may include:

  • No incisions, no burr holes through the skull, and no insertion of electrodes into the brain
  • Real-time visualization of target cells in the brain
  • Non-invasive therapy that results in the almost immediate resolution of symptoms
  • Quicker recovery time, allowing patients to return to daily activities within a day of the procedure
  • Reduced risk of infection and damage to the non-targeted areas of the brain

To Learn More About Focused Ultrasound

For more information about focused ultrasound for essential tremor at Penn Medicine, please call 215-829-6700.

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