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Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor

What is Focused Ultrasound?

Focused Ultrasound, or Magnetic Resonance-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a safe, incisionless procedure for the treatment of Essential Tremor. Essential Tremor is the most common neurologic movement disorder, being 8–10 times more prevalent than Parkinson's disease. The most common symptoms of Essential Tremor include shaking hands and arms. For a deeper understanding of this condition, visit the What is Tremor? page.

Focused Ultrasound can relieve symptoms of Essential Tremor and make lasting improvements to patients’ quality of life. The technology combines high-intensity ultrasound energy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to accurately and precisely thermally ablate or burn small areas of brain tissue that cause tremors, without affecting the surrounding areas. More than 15,000 patients have been treated and published data shows that 73% of postural tremor reduction remained for up to five years after treatment.i MRgFUS is available on the NHS in England as a treatment option for Essential Tremor.

Watch how MRgFUS works featuring Ian Sharp, who is among the first people in Scotland to be treated with MRgFUS

Consultant Radiologist, Professor Wladyslaw Gedroyc, describes how MRgFUS works, who it is for, the key benefits and the considerations of treatment

Seeking Focused Ultrasound Treatment

Involuntary tremors can have a debilitating impact on patients’ quality of life, yet our research has shown over 38% of people living with Essential Tremor waited until the condition became unbearable before seeking a diagnosis.ii

The first step to seeking treatment options for Essential Tremor is getting a diagnosis and understanding if Focused Ultrasound is right for you.

Speak to your GP for a referral to a movement disorder neurologist who will help you understand your condition and the best course of treatment, helping you manage the condition and improve quality of life.

Finding Your Nearest Treatment Centre

There are currently four treatment centres in the UK that offer Focused Ultrasound, including two NHS hospitals. The treatment takes approximately 2 hours, and many patients experience an immediate reduction in their tremor, returning to their normal activities in the following days.

Secure your referral or contact the centres directly for more information and to put you on the path to treatment:

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool

Contact The Walton Centre: 0151 556 3351

St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London

Queen’s Square Focused Ultrasound, London

Contact Queen’s Square: 020 7833 2513

Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee

For more information and advice

Q&A

For further information on Focused Ultrasound, including how it works and the procedure, access the Patient Support Q&A for MRgFUS here

Learn more

To learn more about Essential Tremor to help yourself or a loved one, this one-page summary explains the symptoms, treatment options, and common misconceptions

i. Cosgrove GR, Lipsman N, Lozano AM, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for essential tremor: 5-year follow-up results

ii. Survey Monkey. August 2023. 638 people living with Essential Tremor. Shared by Essential Tremor Foundation to patient database.

#ActionOnET

#ActionOnET is the leading UK campaign for Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology on the NHS for the treatment of essential tremor.
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