MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a common procedure for Essential Tremor and more recently, Parkinson’s Tremor.

There are two types, thallidomity and pallidomity, and they treat different areas of the brain. A laser causes a permanent lesion in the brain in the target area that e.g. fixes tremor and does not affect speech.

Pros: Incision-less for those with co-morbidities that make them not good surgical candidates (e.g. for DBS).

Cons: Permanent, hard to retreat the same area if lesion is not large enough (but can have re-treatment). Scaring around original lesion. Second side may be harder to treat

Post MRgFUS, you can see immediate results. As the condition progresses you will still be able to take levodopa and adjunct therapies.

Being a fairly new procedure, long term data is lacking but is showing about 70% improvement in tremor over 5 years.

More information:

FUS on the Shake It Up site 

Focused Ultrasound Foundation

FUS on Parkinson’s Foundation Blog

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