Lord Fellowes visits St Marys Hospital to learn more about MR Guided Focused Ultrasound treatment

IMG 3472NTF Honorary president, Lord Julian Fellowes visited St Mary’s hospital in Paddington on Thursday 5th July to see for himself the work done to date in the treatment for essential tremor and to learn more about the Tremor Lifeline Appeal.

Lord Fellowes was met by Professor Wladyslaw Geidroyc, consultant radiologist at St Mary’s who explained the new procedure involving MRI guided focused ultrasound. The procedure can be carried out without the need for invasive surgery. It involves using a powerful MRI machine to focus ultrasound waves on a specific area of brain tissue. Current treatments such as drug therapies, surgery and a technique known as deep brain stimulation are often ineffective, and some carry significant risks and side effects.

The tremor lifeline appeal will seek to raise £1.5 million to pay for an additional MRI machine as well as structural improvements and a new patient waiting area at the Acute Imaging Centre at St Mary’s.

Having got past one hurdle with the treatment, which has been recently approved by NICE  ( The National Institite for Health & Care excellence ), the next step is to sell it to NHS England as a treatment that is sufficiently needed in the community to be funded by the NHS. This next step in the process is something in which the NTF itself will be hoping to get involved.

After his visit, Lord Fellowes said :

"Essential Tremor is a serious disability that has been largely ignored for too long.  It may, from the outside, seem trivial or even comic that a person cannot hold a cup or a glass or pour from a jug or write a postcard or tie their shoe laces or drink soup without the risk of leaving half of it down their front.  But it is far from comic for the sufferer.  It is distressing and degrading, a condition that makes hermits of its victims, that destroys skills and ruins social lives, and frequently results in chronic depression.  The idea that there is now a real and effective treatment that works - as opposed to pills that often don't - is immensely heartening.  Once this is available to the general public, it will release many, many men and women from a humiliating prison where they have been held for far too long.  I speak with knowledge, for I am a sufferer. “

Read more about our Patrons and Trustees.