Essential tremor

If you suffer from essential tremor – an uncontrollable shake in the body which is caused by incorrect electrical circuits in the brain – our neurology team can offer a variety of treatment options to help resolve your problem.

As well as utilising drug therapy, surgery or deep brain stimulation, we are now able to offer a pioneering treatment at The Lindo Wing of St Mary’s, known as magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound, which requires no surgery.

This is a non-invasive alternative which can be used for a number of conditions, but we are the first Trust to use the technology to access the brain. MR-guided focused ultrasound technology uses an MRI to guide powerful focused ultrasound to a very small point in the body. This creates an intense local heat that destroys cells and breaks the circuit causing the tremor, but does not impact any of the unaffected parts of the brain.

Fast recovery, immediate success

The procedure takes place under local anaesthetic and you will need a one night hospital stay afterwards. There is a period of about one month afterwards when you may notice some minor issues that gradually improve and we advise you not to drive for one month after the procedure.

The treatment works immediately (with patients experiencing an average of 75% reduction in tremors) and the results are expected to be long-lasting.

World-class expertise

Our Trust team are already pioneers when it comes to MR-guided focused ultrasound, as one of the first centres in the world to carry out these procedures on a regular basis. We have devised several new applications of the technology which are now used regularly around the world as standard treatments.

We also have one of the largest motion disorder neurology setups in the UK and our Trust is a national referral centre for the treatment of patients with essential tremor and associated conditions. Our neurosurgeons and neurologists are some of the most eminent practitioners in this field in Europe. By uniting our unique expertise with this new cutting-edge technology, we can provide immense benefits to people with essential tremor.

This pioneering treatment is performed at Imperial Private Healthcare by Professor Dipankar Nandi and Dr Peter Bain, who are the only clinicians in England performing this procedure.