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4laurant2

Ultra Sound Treatment for PD

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Hi Dr. Okun,

 

I read about a treatment using ultra sound to help relieve the symptoms of Parkinson Disease, instead of DBS. Are you familiar with this treatment? Please comment. Thank you in advance.

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It has been studied for essential tremor, and the publications have yet to hit the presses. What they do is shoot ultrasound waves into the brain to make holes (lesions) to improve symptoms. This is safer than radiation therapy (gamma knife), and it remains for the data to clarify the safety of this approach compared to DBS (this approach is an irreversible lesion). The advantages to this approach is that there is not a need to cut open the brain as the ultrasound is fed in through a machine you lay down inside of....the downside is that these structures are tiny (millimeters) and a miss could leave you with an irreversible side effect. It is very interesting and we will continue to watch for you.

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Dr. Okun,

 

 

My Neurologist is suggesting that I see a Neurosurgeon to see if I qualify for DBS. The problem is my insurance doesn't cover it, unless it's deem necessary. My tremors are mainly on my left side, but it gets worse when I go to the doctor. Otherwise I have good control. Have you seen patients that have the same problem or I’m unique? Thanks in advance.

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In the United States most insurance companies with adequate documentation support the use of DBS for tremor or Parkinson's disease. Remember to try adequate doses of levodopa, agonist, and in some cases anticholinergics to try to treat tremor. Sometimes people under-dose levodopa or alternatively have not checked the gastric emptying (drugs not absorbing). DBS is a very good treatment for medication refractory tremor.

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