• Radiologic Technology News

Ultrasound Effective for Essential Tremor

Sep 06, 2016

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine examining the use of focused ultrasound to treat uncontrolled shaking caused by essential tremor concluded that the technique successfully improved hand tremors in patients. The noninvasive procedure uses magnetic resonance imaging to target focused ultrasound, which can destroy a tiny region of brain tissue thought to be responsible for causing tremors.

“Patients with essential tremor who have not seen improvement with medication now have a new treatment option that could help them to avoid more invasive surgical treatments,” said Carlos Peña, Ph.D., in an FDA news release. “As with other treatments for essential tremor, this new device is not a cure but could help patients enjoy a better quality of life.”

The double-blind control trial involved 76 patients with essential tremor who had not responded to medication therapy. Patients treated with the technique showed nearly a 50% improvement in their tremors and motor function compared to their baseline score.

Essential tremor is the most common form of tremor and afflicts several million Americans, usually over the age of 40, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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