Tremor Treatments: Comparison, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Thinking about surgery to help your essential tremor? Read here to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of three of the most popular procedures.

If you are seeking treatment for your essential tremor, there are many avenues you could explore. You don’t have to live with the discomfort that tremors cause and surgery could be a perfectly viable option for you if your tremors are moderate to severe. Here are some of the most common surgical treatments for essential tremor as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (or DBS) is a surgical procedure which can help patients to manage their tremors throughout their lives. It involves placing one or two electrodes into the brain and then connecting those to a device called an impulse generator which is usually placed just below the collarbone in the chest.

Advantages of this technique include the fact that it does not destroy any of the brain’s tissue and it can effectively control tremors. However, it does require two major surgeries, ongoing adjustments and replacement of the batteries in the generator every several years.

Gamma Knife

The Gamma Knife procedure involves using radiation to treat the part of the brain which is involved with the tremors.

This treatment is not widely used to treat movement disorders due to the dose of radiation the patient receives. A disadvantage is that patients experience the results several months after treatment.

Neuravive focused ultrasound

Neuravive is one of the newest treatments available for patients today. It is incisionless surgery where ultrasound waves are directed to destroy the part of the brain involved with the tremors with the help of MR imaging.

Advantages of this treatment are that it does not need anaesthetic and the patient can be completely awake during the procedure. It can also be performed on an outpatient basis – eliminating the need for a hospital stay – and can greatly lessen or even eliminate tremor symptoms. However, because this is a newer treatment, it is not yet available everywhere. You may have to travel to a clinic or hospital where the treatment is available.

If you wish to try any of the treatments listed above, make sure you have a very thorough discussion with your doctor. Anyone one of these treatments could provide you with some relief if your tremors are impacting your daily life. Whether you choose deep brain stimulation, radiation, or the Neuravive treatment, you will hopefully regain some control over your essential tremor.

Thanks to Mildred

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