Non-invasive alternative to brain surgery for tremor.

Essential tremor is a common problem affecting up to 4 percent of Americans, usually affects the hands during motor activities like writing, eating and typing, and can range in severity from mildly annoying to totally disabling.

Currently available medical treatments have limited effectiveness and can cause side effects. Surgical treatment with implantation of a deep brain stimulator can effectively control this type of tremor, but involves a brain operation, and may not be an option for elderly patients with medical problems or those taking blood thinners.

At Monmouth Medical Center’s Gamma Knife Center, physicians are using Stereotactic radiosurgery to deliver a non-invasive, powerful, highly focused gamma radiation beam offering the same beneficial effect without surgery or risk of bleeding or infection.

Gamma Knife is an advanced radiosurgery system that delivers high-dose gamma radiation beams with pinpoint accuracy to targeted locations in the brain. The Neuroscience Institute at Monmouth Medical Center is excited to offer this innovative treatment to patients with disabling intractable tremor, according to neurologist Neil R. Holland, M.D., medical director of the institute.

“We offer a unique and totally multidisciplinary approach to the management of this challenging problem,” Dr. Holland says. “Patients are seen by a neurologist, neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist on the same day, and if they are felt to be candidates, can leave the hospital with an appointment arranged for the Gamma Knife procedure.”

The Gamma Knife Center at Monmouth Medical Center recently celebrated its first year of treating patients. The addition of Gamma Knife technology to the hospital’s radiosurgery program helped place Monmouth Medical Center at the forefront of advanced benign and malignant brain tumor treatment, as well as treatment of functional brain disorders and vascular malformations.

Click here for more information about tremor.  To schedule an appointment with the Gamma Knife Center, call 732-923-6562, or leave a comment!

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3 thoughts on “Non-invasive alternative to brain surgery for tremor.

  1. Pingback: Gamma knife tremor patient comes back to get the other side done! | Neurology Update

    • Thank you for your comment Gayle. Yes, there are always potential side effects from any procedure. However, these have to be weighted against the benefits of the procedure, and as you have seen from the videos on my web page “benign” essential tremor isn’t always so benign, and can be quite disabling. That’s the reason that every patient considered for this treatment is first reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel consisting of a neurologist, neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist at our center to discuss these issues. You might find it reassuring to know that in a recent study of 15 patients who underwent gamma knife for tremor at Pittsburgh, 13 improved, none had immediate complications, and only one patient had mild delayed onset weakness and slurred speech which later improved with steroids and time. Click here for a link to a paper that reviews this and other studies and discusses the risk v.s benefit in more detail for a surgical approaches to treating tremor in more detail. Thanks again for you interest and comment. NH

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