Focused Ultrasound: Treating Essential Tremor and Movement Disorders at Penn Medicine

Approximately 10 million individuals in the United States suffer from essential tremor (ET), the most common movement disorder in older patients. Gordon H. Baltuch, MD, PhD, Director of the Penn Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery and a professor of Neurosurgery, is spearheading the use of Focused Ultrasound to treat essential tremor at Penn Medicine.

ET is typically treated with medications. Some patients do not respond to these agents, however, and are candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation or thoracotomy surgery, which require incisions or opening the skull.

Focused Ultrasound offers ET patients who did not respond to medications a noninvasive alternative to surgery and Deep Brain Stimulation. Focused Ultrasound uses focused beams of ultrasonic waves to target and disrupt cells in the part of the brain involved in essential tremor.

"Many patients with essential tremor do not want an invasive operation with its associated risks," Dr. Baltuch explained. "Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, doesn't involve any hardware and, in some circumstances, can be done as an outpatient procedure."

Related Links: 
Read the clinical briefing, "Focused Ultrasound Therapy for the Treatment of Essential Tremor Refractory to Medication
View Department of Neurosurgery research
Refer a patient to Penn Neurosurgery
Review Dr. Baltuch's physician profile


February 20, 2018

Created by

Penn Physician VideoLink