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For the first time in the Philadelphia region, patients who suffer from tremors, essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson's Disease tremors have access to treat these tremors with MR-guided focused ultrasound at Pennsylvania Hospital.
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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.
Some benefits of Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of tremors 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
Q&A About Focused Ultrasound With Dr. Baltuch
To Learn More About Focused Ultrasound
For more information about focused ultrasound for essential tremor or Parkinson's Disease at Penn Medicine, please call 215-829-6700.
Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trials
To learn more about clinical trials for Essential Tremor and Parkinson's Disease please contact, Marie Kerr 215-829-6720
Therapy for Tremors
Parkinson's Disease Tremor
Tremor is very common in Parkinson's Disease. It affects about 80% of people with Parkinson's. Focused Ultrasound is now being used for the treatment of motor symptoms for Parkinson's patients. This technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue. The ultrasound produces a variety of therapeutic effects enabling Parkinson's disease symptoms to be treated without surgery.
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).
Watch Jordan's Story about his essential tremor treatment with focused ultrasound.