Benign Essential Tremor Info

Benign Essential Tremor - The Essential Facts

Gamma Knife Surgery

What Is Gamma Knife Surgery
Gamma Knife Surgery was invented in Sweden by Lars Leksell, initially as a means to treat brain tumours but now also being used to treat movement disorders including Essential Tremor. Gamma Knife Surgery is not what we usually consider to be surgery but is in fact a non invasive, highly effective treatment that involves no scalpels or knives.

How Does It Work
Gamma Knife Surgery delivers a single dose of radiation to the affected part of the brain with high precision beams. Local anesthetic is administered in the clinic prior to a head brace being put in place and then a series of scans will be performed to provide a three dimensional image of the brain, this gives an accurate picture of the area for treatment. The Gamma Knife is rigidly attached to the head frame and aimed precisely at the target area. There is absolutely no chance of error as the gamma knife is precisely aligned to the area to be treated and is in a fixed position.

Will It Hurt
Gamma Knife Surgery involves very little discomfort.

How Long Does It Take
The proceedure varies between individuals but in general it could take anything from a few minutes to a couple of hours depending on several factors.

How Long Is The Recovery Period
Because Gamma Knife Surgery is non invasive, i.e. no scalpels are involved, patients can be up and about almost straight away with no disruption to their day to day life.

Benefits of Gamma Knife
Gamma Knife Surgery is non invasive
No scarring
Virtually pain free proceedure
Carried out on an Out Patient basis
No unsightly implant

My Personal Opinion
Gamma Knife Surgery should only be considered when medication has had no beneficial effect and the tremor is severe enough to interfere with everday activities but I think we will see more and more people over the next few years being treated by Gamma Knife Surgery.

Member's Experience of Gamma Knife Surgery

Subject: Essential Tremor
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:48:38 -0400

This is in response to your request for comments from people who have ET and the treatments/meds they've received and their effect on ET.  I am a 79 year old Caucasian male, educated, and a USNR retired Captain.  I first noted ET at around age 44.  Initially, Inderal helped but subsequently it did not.  The ET is evident only in my hands.  By 1996, my Neurologist suggested that I try a new procedure just approved by the FDA called "Gamma Knife".  Since I'm left handed, the decision was made to attempt to reduce the tremors in my left hand so as to make me more productive.  The procedure was done at the Good Samaratian Hospital in Los Angeles in 1996 and my left-hand tremors virtually disappeared.
Today, they are back somewhat while I'm still shacking on the right.  Now, I'm on Primidone  50mg tabs 2 or 3 tabs 3 times a day and Topamax 50mg tabs 1 or 2 tabs twice daily.  Sadly, neither med seems to have an effect on my ET.
If a Pharm company could invent a med that could stop our shaking, they would make millions!
William H. Mattingly
La Habra Heights CA