Treatment of Family Tremor with HIFU Ultrasound

Focused ultrasound thalamotomy

Family tremor is a disease associated with impaired movement of the limbs and trunk, arms or legs, head, voice. The hands are most often affected. A distinctive characteristic observed in people suffering from this ailment is trembling. In the world, every 5 people over the age of 65 have such a diagnosis.

Essential tremor does not affect life expectancy. At the same time, its quality deteriorates significantly. A person has difficulties with performing the simplest movements, mood drops, negative concerns also socialization.

Feature of the treatment

The effectiveness of tremor treatment is due to ultrasound ablation of the thalamic nuclei of the brain, provided that HIFU is used. This technology is used on the left or right hemisphere. Duration of ablation 7 – 10 sec. The total time required for this procedure is less than 2 hours.

We draw attention to the fact that the ablation performed is fast and easy to use due to the good anatomical location of the thalamic nuclei. The result is almost instantaneous results.

World practice of treatment

In practice, the first-line drugs that reduce the level of tremor (by about 60% in half of the patients) are propranolol and primidone. If the person taking them develops side effects or develops resistance, the next step for doctors is to prescribe neurosurgical intervention. It is directed primarily at the thalamic nucleus, which is part of the tremor chain that connects the cerebellum to the cortical motor pathways.

There are 2 options for effective surgical treatment of tremor in the world:

Another method of treatment is the implantation of electrodes in the brain. They involve connection to an implantable subcutaneous stimulator (Medtronic). It is popular in many countries for its good results. Performed by specialist surgeons. Minus the need to use direct introduction into the brain (invasive) and the use of intracerebral electrodes. The price for implants is in the range of 5-15 thousand euros, depending on whether the one-time option is used or with a battery that needs to be replaced every 5 years.

The most important side effect of this type of treatment, due to which many patients do not agree to the electrode implantation procedure, is intracerebral hemorrhage (3-4%). Note that there is a risk of infection, but the percentage is small (1-2%).

Important features

The practice of using ultrasound in neurosurgery is large. An obstacle to its use may be a negative result during craniotomy (craniotomy). This must be done, since the bones of the skull create an obstacle to the influence of ultrasonic waves as a result of the procedure, which will reduce its effectiveness. Also, craniotomy can provide complications that limit the use of ultrasound.

It follows from the foregoing that the treatment of tremors using ultrasound using HIFU technology is the safest, most painless and effective method used in the world.

If you want to find out more technical information about this technology and see the results, then go to the Parkinson’s Treatment section.

We stay In Valencia, Spain. Ascires Biomedical Group

Dr. Oleg Korzhykov

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