Two people drawing spirals

“Game-changing” Essential Tremor treatment rolled out

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust has rolled out a new state-of-the-art treatment for people living with Essential Tremor.

Essential Tremor is a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking or trembling in different parts of the body. The new treatment is called Transcranial MR-guided Focused Ultrasound, or Focused Ultrasound for short, and involves thermal tissue ablation, targeted at the key areas of the brain causing the tremors.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology and only the second in the country to offer an incisionless treatment for Essential Tremor.

The new treatment aims to revolutionise healthcare for the one million people living with Essential Tremor in the UK, with around 25% of those being severely disabled by the condition.

Medical Director Dr Andrew Nicolson said: “We consider this treatment a game-changer for our patients with Essential Tremor. Those eligible will be able to have the treatment and see their symptoms on one side of their body essentially disappear.”

He added: “Usually to achieve this effect in Movement Disorders, it would require much more invasive surgical intervention. It’s been an incredible team effort and the first treatment today marks the start of an invaluable service we can offer our patients.”     

Patients who are eligible for the treatment can get one Focused Ultrasound treatment to reduce tremors on one side of their body, with current regulatory approvals demonstrating good clinical durability and tremor relief maintaining for three years.

Jibril Osman Farah, Consultant Neurosurgeon and one of the lead clinicians for this project, hopes that now The Walton Centre can offer this treatment, some of the backlog the NHS is still suffering from can be alleviated. He said: “Those patients in the north of England waiting for this treatment can now come here to Liverpool, rather than have to wait to be treated in London, which can be difficult to get to. Focused Ultrasound is a ground-breaking treatment for patients with Essential Tremor.”

He added: “To test how effective the treatment is we ask patients to draw spirals before, during and after, and the results are so striking. Before it was a scribble, and after it is a clear spiral, the tremors are drastically reduced. I’m so proud of the team and how we’ve pulled together to bring this treatment to patients here at The Walton Centre.”

More information about Focused Ultrasound can be found here.

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