Technology turns off hand tremors without incision

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Doctors at six US centers are in the final tests on technology to turn off hand tremors without an incision. (WPVI)

Doctors at six US centers are in the final tests on technology to turn off hand tremors without an incision to the brain.

MR-guided focused ultrasound sends high-intensity rays through the skull into the brain to heat up and destroy the cells causing tremors.

To keep the scalp from burning, the rays pass through a helmet of cooled water.

"It allows us to send these ultrasound waves that converge, a thousand of them, on a pinpoint area of the brain, and stop the abnormal function of that part of the brain," Dr. Ali Rezai of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said.

This high-intensity ultrasound is already being used for uterine fibroids and was recently approved for prostate treatments.

Sites in Baltimore, Boston, and Columbus, Ohio, are among those doing the tests.

Doctors say it may also help with Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression.

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