Doctors Use Ultrasound Waves To Stop Hand Tremors

Bursts of focused ultrasound waves allow ‘brain surgery without cutting the skin’

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Stephen Palovchik, 71, of Delaware, OH is able to hold his right hand steady for the first time in decades thanks to an experimental treatment in which certain brain cells were burned. Using high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center were able to pass soundwaves harmlessly past Palovchik`s skull and zap certain cells deep in his brain. See the difference it made: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – In an attempt to offer a noninvasive treatment for patients with Essential Tremor, doctors are burning cells deep inside the brain using an innovative technology involving MR guided focused ultrasound. “This is brain surgery without cutting the skin,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Ali Rezai, director of the Center for Neuromodulation at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Principal Investigator (PI) for this study. “We’re able to beam more than one thousand ultrasound rays into the brain with pinpoint accuracy and precisely burn the abnormal part of the brain causing the hands to shake,” he said.

During the investigational procedure, focused ultrasound rays guided by MRI enter the scalp at different locations, then converge in one spot, heating up to 150 degrees. The MRI allows the clinical team to target the right spot in the brain and monitor the treatment in real time. “The heat causes damage and, essentially, short circuits the area of the brain responsible for the hand tremors,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Vibhor Krishna, who is part of the research team at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.

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Stephen Palovchik, 71, of Delaware, OH holds his right hand steady for the first time in decades thanks to an investigational treatment. Using MR-guided focused ultrasound, doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center passed ultrasound waves harmlessly through Palovchik`s skull to zap certain cells deep in his brain. See the difference it made: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

Stephen Palovchik, 71, of Delaware, OH holds his right hand steady for the first time since he was a teenager, following an investigational treatment at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Doctors performed MR-guided focused ultrasound, a highly precise procedure that burned a small area deep in Palovchik`s brain that was causing his tremor. Within hours of his treatment, Palovchik says the tremors that plagued him for decades subsided. Details: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

Before and after writing examples show the immediate impact intensity focused ultrasound therapy had on Stephen Palovchik, 71, of Delaware, OH. Palovchik suffered from Essential Tremor since he was a teenager, but doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center calmed his severe hand tremors by burning certain cells deep within his brain using MR-guided focused ultrasound. See how the treatment works here: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center deliver focused ultrasound waves to the brain of a patient to stop hand tremors without surgery. The ultrasound waves converge deep inside a patient`s brain, heat up to 150 degrees, and burn selected cells in order to stop the patient`s hands from shaking. See the results here: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

Stephen Palovchik, 71, undergoes MR-guided focused ultrasound at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Palovchik has suffered from Essential Tremor since he was a teenager and volunteered to undergo the investigational treatment to steady his hand. Focused ultrasound waves converge deep inside his brain, and burn selected cells to stop his hand tremors. See the results of the treatment here: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

An image taken by doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shows focused ultrasound rays converging deep in the brain of a patient during an investigational therapy. In order to stop hand tremor in this patient, more than one thousand rays converged, gradually heating up to 150 degrees, causing a tiny lesion in selected cells. That lesion short-circuits the part of the brain causing the tremor. See how it works here: bit.ly/1PVVwmB

For the first time since he was a teenager, Stephen Palovchik, 71, of Delaware, OH can control his right hand well enough to touch fingertips with neurosurgeon Dr. Vibhor Krishna of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Palovchik suffered from hand tremors for decades, but Krishna and a team of doctors steadied his hands using MR guided focused ultrasound developed by Israeli company INSIGHTEC. During the investigational therapy, focused ultrasound waves were beamed deep into Palovchik`s brain, where they caused lesions on selected cells to stop his tremors. Details: bit.ly/1PVVwmB