Tremors, a common movement disorder, can result from certain neurological conditions, most notably Parkinson’s disease. Tremors have traditionally required brain surgery to treat. The University of Virginia Health has a “scalpel-free” technique for relieving tremors. A new study looks at the efficacy by seeing how participants are doing five years after treatment.
How does the new procedure work?
The procedure uses ultrasound, where sound waves are focused in the brain, interfering with the “faulty circuits” causing the tremors. No knives or operation is required – just a guided MRI, which allows doctors to see precisely where they need to deliver the sound waves.
The results are significant: “Study participants would enter an MRI with their hand shaking uncontrollably and emerge with their ability to write or feed themselves restored.”
These immediate results are undoubtedly incredible, and this new study set out to determine the lifespan of the results – would they be short or long-lived? Researchers followed 40 participants who received ultrasound treatment for five years and confirmed that the reduction of symptoms continued after five years and with no unwanted side effects.
Five years later, people who received the new treatment for tremors saw over a 70% reduction in their tremors.
The University of Virginia Health is now using these new study findings to help others in need of treatment, for example, to help immunotherapy work better in cancer patients.
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