First MRI-guided ultrasound for essential tremor gains FDA approval
The new tool takes magnetic resonance images (MRIs) throughout the procedure. This guarantees focused ultrasounds that investigate damaged brain tissue within the small area that health experts think causes the tremor.
Essential tremor -- known as benign essential tremor -- is a typical kind of tremor. It is usually found among people who are older than 40. Several million Americans live with essential tremor.
Traditional treatments include anticonvulsant drugs or beta blockers. If these treatments don’t resolve the tremor, then doctors recommend surgery (thalamotomy), or a deep brain stimulation device, damaging the thalamus, which is a small area in the brain that doctors believe is responsible for involuntary movements.
“Patients with essential tremor who have not seen improvement with medication now have a new treatment option that could help them to avoid more invasive surgical treatments,” Dr. Carlos Peña, director of the division of neurological and physical medicine devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said. “As with other treatments for essential tremor, this new device is not a cure but could help patients enjoy a better quality of life.”