From the U of VirginiaCOM 15 study patients with essential tremor were treated with MRI-guided focused high-intensity ultrasound waves (sonification) to ablate the ventral us intermedius nucleus of the thalamus. Significant improvement was seen in all patients that were heretofore unresponsive to drug treatment (typically 50% of patients with ET which is inherited).
The down side: this treatment, unlike deep brain stimulation, is irreversible and therefore adverse events are permanent including four patients in this study that suffered persistent paresthesias.
The up side: US thalamotomy may be applicable to other disorders : brain tumors, other movement disorders, epilepsy and central pain disorders.
Lancet Neurology 2013;12(5):462-468