Until now, anyone suffering from a tremor had only the choice of compensating for the tremors with more or less effective medication or undergoing an operation in which electrodes are surgically placed in the brain. However, a relatively new method - treatment using focused ultrasound - now promises to replace conventional invasive methods. Without surgery, anesthesia and bloodshed as well as without the side effects that often occur with medication, the "tremor sickness" should be combated in the future.
Tremor - also known as "shaking" or "shaking" - is understood as the involuntary shaking of one or more parts of the body, as the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) explains on its website. There are various diseases, such as Parkinson's, that cause tremors. The arms are often affected, more rarely the legs, head or voice.
"Focused ultrasound is a non-invasive therapeutic technology," Dr. Neal Kassell, founder and chair of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, summarizes the method in an interview with CNN. It uses an acoustic lens instead of an optical lens to focus beams of light to aim multiple beams of ultrasonic energy at targets deep within the brain with a high degree of precision and accuracy to focus on the body," Kassell explains via CNN.
As the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein explains, "the sound energy heats the tissue. This leads to the destruction of the nerve cells responsible for the tremor, which disrupts the tremor network. The patient is awake during the treatment in order to give direct feedback." In most cases, this leads to an improvement in tremors immediately after treatment.
However, the method is not entirely without side effects or risks. "The most common risk we encounter in patients is a temporary numbness or tingling, which can sometimes occur in the treated arm or lip area," explains Dr. Nir Lipsman of the Harquail Center for Neuromodulation in Canada to CNN Slight balance difficulties after the procedure are also temporary risks.
Sources: CNN, UKSH