Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with Holmes tremor. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling Holmes tremor to be treated without surgery.
The primary options for treatment of Holmes tremor include medications or unilateral thalamotomy. For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Non-invasive approach, so less risk of nerve damage, bleeding or wound healing than surgery
- This approach does not require the use of general anesthesia
There is a clinical trial for treating patients with movement disorders that includes patients with Holmes tremor. This study is only open to Canadian Citizens.
For a full list of clinical trials on movement disorders, please see here.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for Holmes tremor is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Fasano A, Llinas M, Munhoz RP, Hlasny E, Kucharczyk W, Lozano AM. MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy in non-ET tremor syndromes. Neurology. 2017 Aug 22;89(8):771-775. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004268. Epub 2017 Jul 26.
Gabriela B. Raina, MD, Maria G. Cersosimo, MD, Silvia S. Folgar, MD, Juan C. Giugni, MD, Cristian Calandra, MD, Juan P. Paviolo, MD, Veronica A. Tkachuk, MD, Carlos Zuñiga Ramirez, MD, Andrea L. Tschopp, MD, Daniela S. Calvo, MD, Luis A. Pellene, MD, Marcela C. Uribe Roca, MD, Miriam Velez, MD, Rolando J. Giannaula, MD, Manuel M. Fernandez Pardal, MD, and Federico E. Micheli, MD, PhD. Holmes tremor: Clinical description, lesion localization, and treatment in a series of 29 cases. Neurology. 2016 Mar 8; 86(10): 931–938.
Click here for additional references from PubMed.