Hackensack University Medical Center Becomes First and Only Center in New Jersey to Offer Noninvasive Neurosurgical Tremor Treatment

MRI-focused Treatment Helps Patients with Tremors

Hackensack University Medical Center became the first and only center in New Jersey — and one of only a few in the country — to offer noninvasive MRI-guided focused ultrasound to treat tremors, or involuntary and rhythmic shaking that affects people with certain neurological conditions.

The treatment was developed by medical technology company INSIGHTEC and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease that has not responded to medications.

Focused ultrasound uses sound waves that travel through the skin and skull, which means that the procedure can be performed without any incisions. Under MRI guidance, the sound waves are precisely focused on a targeted area deep in the brain. The sound waves create heat, which is used to disrupt the abnormal signals that cause tremor.

“Essential tremor affects 10 million Americans, and Parkinson’s disease affects approximately one million Americans,” said Hooman Azmi, M.D., Director, Division of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery at the Hackensack University Medical Center Neuroscience Institute and associate professor of neurosurgery at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine who will treat patients using focused ultrasound technology. “MR-guided focused ultrasound is an amazing development because it has the potential to instantaneously decrease or eliminate tremors and improve quality of life for millions of patients who are living with a movement disorder.”

And because the focused ultrasound procedure is noninvasive, requires no incisions and is performed while the patient is awake, treatment is done on an outpatient basis.

“Patients experience immediate improvement with minimal complications,” said Dr. Patrick Roth, chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Hackensack University Medical Center. “By expanding their access to this treatment, we can help restore confidence and independence for people suffering from debilitating tremors.”

Learn More about other advancements and clinical innovations.

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