Procedure at Regional One helps with effects of tremors in Parkinson’s patients

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 7:09 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Nearly 90,000 people in the U.S are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year, and though there is no cure, treatment can bring patients some relief. Some Mid-South doctors at Regional One Health in Memphis are touting the success of an ultrasound procedure doing just that.

“We treat until your tremor goes away and we are satisfied, and we don’t have any side effects,” Dr. Doug Taylor said.

Dr. Taylor is just one of two doctors in the greater Memphis area who performs focused ultrasound procedures to help patients suffering from hand tremors.

“Typically doing them monthly right now so the other physician who’s there is doing them a couple times a month,” Taylor said.

There are no incisions and no hospital stay. Focused ultrasound works by using MRI technology to guide ultrasound energy to treat the spot in the brain responsible for the tremor. It’s a two-to-three-hour procedure, then most people can resume normal activities, including activities their tremor previously prevented, within days.

“Once you get to the point where it’s significantly inhibiting your ability to do simple tasks like drinking coffee in the morning, write your name, sign a check, use a screwdriver and you’ve tried several medications there are other options out there,” Dr. Taylor said.

In 2016, the FDA approved the procedure, making Regional One Health a destination to make essential tremors vanish. Currently, the FDA has only approved the procedure to be completed for one side of the body, but studies are underway to allow the other side to be done.

It’s a step the hospital says is going in the right direction.

“People with this pathology, mainly essential tremor with Parkinson’s, this will certainly be a life-changing, quality of life improving type of procedure, " Dr. Taylor said.

To find out if you are a qualified candidate for a focused ultrasound, click here.

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