Focused Ultrasound (FUS), also known as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), is a minimally invasive alternative to deep brain stimulation for patients with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease tremor that has not responded to medications. Focused ultrasound uses acoustic energy, or sound waves, to treat brain tissue that is the source of the tremor. The ultrasound is applied while the patient is in an MRI machine, so that a physician can precisely monitor and confirm where the energy is being delivered. It does not require any implants or long-term maintenance.
The outpatient procedure, which typically takes two hours, doesn’t require surgical incisions or anesthesia and many patients experience immediate and significant reduction in hand tremors, which can make activities of daily living challenging. Patients can return home the same day.
What to Expect
There is no radiation, no anesthesia, no extensive scarring and minimal to no risk of infection. Patients should expect to have their heads completely shaved before the procedure and will have to lay flat for at least two hours.
HiFU is FDA approved for the treatment of essential tremor and Parkinson’s related tremor in both hands, in two separate treatments. The first procedure will treat tremors on a patient’s dominant side. So if a patient is left-handed, the first procedure will be on the left side. Then, nine months later, a second procedure on the second side.
The treatment works immediately so patients can return home on the same day as the procedure – tremor free.
Hackensack Meridian Health is currently the only health care network in New Jersey offering high intensity focused ultrasound treatment. We offer it at two of our Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute locations in Hackensack and Neptune. Patients may also be evaluated for eligibility at our Edison location.
Contact our locations to find out if you are a candidate.
JFK University Medical Center
For eligibility evaluations only. (732-321-7010) JFK University Medical Center does not currently perform FUS treatment. However, our physicians can meet with you, discuss your diagnosis, and assess whether or not you are a candidate for the procedure. If you are eligible, they will refer you to one of our treatment locations.