Ne�Te�h�����y �A�E� LI�E� Area hos�itals share ad�ances �ou should �now about
WRITTEN BY ��ND� S���E��� �AND�ER
�AC�ENSAC� MERIDIAN �EALT� ��AC�ENSAC� UNI�ERSIT� MEDICAL CENTER �ETT��� R�D O� TRE�ORS ��THO�T S�R�ER�
People who suffer from tremors �involuntary shaking that makes it challenging to eat , brush teeth and get dressed �experience adiminished quality of life . One of the most common causes is “ essential tremor ,” a neurological genetic disorder that can become apparent at any age� Parkinson ’ s Disease is another . “ Many patients have difficulty with daily living due to tremors ,” says Dr . �ooman Azmi , director of functional and restorative neurosurgery at �ackensack �niversity Medical Center , and physician at New Jersey Brain and Spine Center . “ The shaking affects work , home orany other activity , aspatients cannot do basic things such as signing their own names , brushing their teeth , shaving or even drinking a glass of water because of the tremors .”
Medication isthe first line of treatment , hesays , but in many cases , either they become ineffective over time , orthe side effects to higher doses make them intolerable . In the past , patients next turned to surgery for relief : A pacemaker would be inserted in the brain to provide deep stimulation . It is an effective process , though one that carries the risks of an invasive procedure .
But this June , �ackensack �niversity Medical Center becomes the first hospital in New Jersey to offer a non-surgical alternative . The InsighTec Focused �ltrasound device uses 1,000 sound emitters from a “ cap ” that is worn during the procedure . Working with an M�I machine for guidance , doctors direct the soundwaves from the InsighTec device to disrupt the brain circuitry causing tremors . The procedure , which involves no incisions , is done on an outpatient basis in 1-3 hours .“ Focused ultrasound has been around for a while , but this fairly new innovation has been able to get the soundwaves through the skull without surgery ,” says Azmi . The results are permanent , and the process doesn ’ t need to be repeated .