Blog

By: Neil Adler, Freelance Writer
November 4, 2019

“On the golf course, everything is starting to click for me!” said my father at dinner. “My knees, my elbows, my neck…”

Getting old can be rough, and humor is one way to help get through life’s day-to-day challenges. There is also scientific support for the fact that socializing with others [1] is a part of a trifecta of strategies to help maintain quality of life and which includes:
1. Exercising your body,
2. Exercising your mind, and
3. Socializing with family and friends





By: Pamela Schwartz, INSIGHTEC Product Marketing Manager
October 11, 2019

Press play below to listen to Beverly McGowan’s journey to tremor relief:

Beverly McGowan is a nurse practitioner who has worked with patients both at the V.A. and with Medicare for more than fifteen years. This work continually presents her with opportunities to provide compassionate care and to educate people regarding their health, including evaluating their medications and ensuring the best quality of life for one and all.





By: Pamela Schwartz, INSIGHTEC Product Marketing Manager
October 4, 2019

Fixing things around the house, playing golf, painting or dinner with friends may allow us to balance stress in our lives. However, these activities may add anxiety and frustration to the daily challenges of people living with essential tremor.





By: Daniela Calderon, INSIGHTEC Patient Marketing Manager
October 4, 2019

Last month, we connected with Health Educator Lisett to learn about  INSIGHTEC’s Tremor Program Services, which provides education to patients and caregivers on essential tremor as well as FDA-approved treatment options, with an emphasis on INSIGHTEC’s Neuravive treatment. This month, I would like to introduce you to Yasmina, another Educator at INSIGHTEC.





By: Pamela Schwartz, INSIGHTEC Product Marketing Manager
September 5, 2019

Press play below to listen to Bob’s journey to tremor relief.

 

Bob Walker hails from Alabama. About 15 years ago, he noticed the shaking when he tried to do daily activities like drinking and writing. After visiting a neurologist, he was diagnosed with essential tremor and started taking medications. Unfortunately, they did not work for him, and his hand tremor got progressively worse.





By: Neil Adler, Freelance Writer
July 10, 2019

Let’s face it—tremors can be really embarrassing when they happen in public. In a world that craves normalcy, tremors may be perceived as abnormal behavior. No one knows this better than people who suffer from tremor-related movement disorders, such as Essential Tremor (ET) and tremor-dominant Parkinson’s Disease (PD).





By: Dr. Laurence Jacobs BDS, LDS, RCS (England)
July 3, 2019

Today I attended a celebration to mark the 100th patient to be treated at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel using Focused Ultrasound surgery for essential tremor or tremor from tremor-dominant Parkinson‘s disease.

The event was hosted by the Israeli company INSIGHTEC, which developed and manufactures the medical device used to perform the incisionless surgery, and which is in use in over 60 centres worldwide.





By: Neil Adler, Freelance Writer
June 17, 2019

An interview with Hanane Chabainou, CRNP

When patients go to a neurosurgeon, they are often very anxious about what to expect from surgery. Will it be painful? What are the potential side effects? What tests are required? What is the recovery period? As a Nurse Practitioner at a Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, Hanane Chaibainou, CRNP describes the beautiful moments she experiences in her role providing answers to ease patient and caregiver anxiety about neurosurgical procedures.

I spoke with Hanane about her experience working alongside a neurosurgery team with procedures such as MRI-guided focused ultrasound to treat tremors in patients with essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease.





By: Pamela Schwartz, INSIGHTEC Product Marketing Manager
June 17, 2019

Who has a brain procedure and then asks her girlfriend who accompanied her, “What do you want to do now?” Karen Dopher. Just two months ago, she underwent Neuravive focused ultrasound to treat her essential tremor. That very same day, she went on a 2-mile hike and went out to dinner. Here she is at the beach the very next day.





By: Daniela Calderon, INSIGHTEC Patient Marketing Manager
June 13, 2019

When you or your loved one has been diagnosed with an illness, multiple questions begin to run through your mind. What exactly does my diagnosis mean? What treatments are available? What should I expect during the treatment? Are there treatment centers near me?

While searching the internet for answers to these questions and many more, aren’t there times you wish you could pick up the phone and speak to someone directly instead of asking Alexa? INSIGHTEC, an innovative, forward-thinking company established Tremor Program Services for that precise purpose. Tremor Program Services is designed to increase awareness and provide education to patients and caregivers on essential tremor and FDA-approved treatment options, with a focus on Neuravive. Neuravive is an incisionless treatment performed using the FDA-approved Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound device.





By: The INSIGHTEC Marketing Team
June 6, 2019

INSIGHTEC is pleased to announce that The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has made another POSITIVE coverage decision for MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment for medication-refractory Essential Tremor.  As of June, 2019, three new Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assocation plans – Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Capital BCBS and BCBS South Carolina have updated their coverage policy to include the Neuravive Treatment as a covered benefit! Highmark, Capital and BCBS South Carolina provide coverage in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and South Carolina.





By: Daniela Calderon, INSIGHTEC Patient Marketing Manager
May 16, 2019

The Doctors on CBS recently aired a segment focused on Jodi and her story living with essential tremor for more than a decade.





By: Neil Adler
April 21, 2019

Bats! That’s right. We owe a debt a gratitude to bats because without them, we may not have ultrasound technology. In 1794, it was first discovered that bats send calls (i.e., sounds) out to the environment to locate and identify objects in their path.





By: Pamela Schwartz, INSIGHTEC Product Marketing Manager
March 26, 2019

Meet Paul Flick. He is 58 years old. Originally from New Jersey, he now resides in Florida with his wife after moving a mere 23 times. He received his BS in Information Systems from Drexel and is employed as a Systems Analyst. His travels and interactions with people from many cultures have made him understand that  what he does every day is “resolve problems for people.”

When Paul was younger, he used to visit his grandmother. While he noticed her hand tremors, he chalked it up to her elderly age. Then, in his late 30’s, they began holding out their hands to compare whose tremor was worse that day.





One day at lunch with an internist, Peter Muller had a Eureka moment. He had lived the last 33 years frustrated by not knowing why he could not control shaking in his arm, and suddenly he was given a clue. The internist told him that he may have Essential Tremor (ET). On a visit to a movement disorder specialist the potential diagnosis became a reality.





By: The INSIGHTEC Marketing Team
February 23, 2019

Neuravive, the MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment for medication-refractory essential tremor, is a Medicare covered benefit in 38 states.





By: Neil Adler
February 18, 2019

This month I was fortunate to interview Donna P. to learn about her experience as a research subject in the Neuravive focused ultrasound clinical trial for ET.

Donna brings an enthusiasm for life in everything she does, whether that is cooking her favorite delicacies or playing games with her grandchildren. This is why when the opportunity came for her to do something about her essential tremor (ET), she took the bull by the horns.

Donna has lived with essential tremor for over 30 years. While medications worked for her early on, over time their effectiveness wore off. Her neurologist wanted to do more to ease her suffering, but the options were limited.





While essential tremor (ET) is the most common form of tremor in adults, each case can be very different. Yet even with this variability, a physician diagnosing ET focuses on identifying symptoms that are consistently seen across people who suffer from it.

Neurologists specializing in movement disorders have a tool kit they use to identify and assess the severity of ET. I sat down with Paul S. Fishman M.D., Ph.D., a Professor of Neurology, Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Chief of Neurology for the Maryland VA Health Care System, to learn more about how ET is diagnosed. Dr. Fishman also spoke about how practical it is to use telemedicine to perform an exam without having the patient travel to the hospital.





By: Neil Adler
January 9, 2019

Early in December of 2018, I had the pleasure to attend the play Swimming with Kate–one woman’s deep dive with essential tremor (ET). MaryCae Asay wrote and performed the play about her life with ET.





Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are two of those many food-focused holidays I would rather avoid. And like many suffering from ET, I would give anything to get through one family gathering without worrying over how I will get my food to my mouth without spilling, dropping, or stumbling around.





By: Neil Adler
October 22, 2018

We are all doing it – going straight to WebMD instead of the real MD. According to a recent study, more than one-third of U.S. adults use the Internet to self-diagnose their medical condition. However, less than half — 41 percent — say that a doctor confirmed the diagnosis they made from online research.1





By: Neil Adler
August 26, 2018

According to scientists, we have more knowledge about stars than we have about the human brain. Our brain may only weigh 3 pounds, but it is complex and mysterious. When you consider that we have around 86 billion neurons1 (formerly believed to be 100 billion) that create more than 100,000 chemical reactions in the brain every second, it makes sense that our understanding of the brain continues to evolve over time.

It has been said that we only use 10% of our brain. However, with brain scanning technology, we now know we use our entire brain all the time. When you consider the brain is about 3% of our body’s weight and uses 20% of our body’s energy, you can see that our brains are really busy!





By: The INSIGHTEC Marketing Team
July 18, 2018

Thomas took great pride in playing darts. His father had schooled him well in this family tradition that went back decades. However, when his father reached his 60’s, he was diagnosed with essential tremor. At that point, his hand shook so much that he could no longer throw the darts with precision.

Knowing essential tremor can be hereditary, when Thomas began experiencing similar symptoms in his left hand, he went straight to a neurologist. Soon after he was informed he too had essential tremor.

Early on in treatment it became clear that medication was not working. His neurologist believed the problem could be solved, but he didn’t have a solid plan as to how. One day Thomas got a call from him that changed everything.





Billy Williams always led an active, happy life defined by work, hobbies and family. After four years in the Air Force, Billy went to work at Western Union. After 28 years, he returned to his military roots and worked in the communications department of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon for more than a decade. In the midst of all those satisfying work years, Billy and his wife raised two children in Winchester, Vermont.

Billy’s essential tremor started about 12 years ago while he was still working at the Pentagon. The tremors affected his hands, though more in the right than the left. Since he’s right-handed, the tremors affected all of his activity, writing especially, but also eating and even teeing up a golf ball.





Essential Tremor (ET) affects everyone differently. But for nearly everyone with ET, common everyday tasks can be challenging. Writing, eating, drinking and dressing are functions most people take for granted. And when these activities are difficult, it can set the tone for frustration or worse, lead to a life devoid of much social or public interaction.

Fortunately, there are techniques as well as tools that can take those tasks from daunting to manageable. Occupational therapist Julia Wood, who specializes in movement disorders of all types, combines practical mental and physical approaches every day with her patients at Pennsylvania Hospital’s Penn Therapy & Fitness.





By: The INSIGHTEC Marketing Team
June 12, 2018

At INSIGHTEC, we make every effort to listen to patients, whether that is reading and responding to daily comments on Facebook or talking face-to-face at patient forums. Whether Medicare covers the Neuravive treatment is one of the questions that we receive very often, and now we have some good news to share with all of you.

 

MR-guided focused ultrasound (Neuravive treatment) is now covered in 10 states. Additionally, on July 1, coverage will expand to 6 additional states. Additional Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) have issued positive Draft Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) with potential to further expand Medicare coverage to a total of 38 states.





By: Julia Wood, Occupational Therapist
May 17, 2018

Western medicine is increasingly recognizing the importance of a positive mental attitude on overall health. This is especially true in the essential tremor community. Symptoms that can range from embarrassing to annoying to debilitating can pose both physical and emotional challenges in daily life. How do you cope with your essential tremor? A positive mental outlook can be enormously helpful.





For my entire life, I’ve lived with a condition called Essential Tremor, a movement disorder that caused my hands to shake. As a child, I had terrible penmanship that never improved. My teachers all thought that I just couldn’t write well. Little did they know that I had a condition that prevented me from writing fluidly. Even though I was a good athlete as a kid, I was nicknamed “Shaker” by my teammates. I learned to live with my tremor, and never really thought too much of it until I was in my early fifties. The condition got worse as I got older, and soon impacted every facet of my daily life.





While MR-guided focused ultrasound ablation was dramatized on Grey’s Anatomy, the technology is real and being used to treat patients with essential tremor that has not responded to medication.





By: Pamela Schwartz, INSIGHTEC Product Marketing Manager
March 31, 2018

INSIGHTEC had the opportunity and honor to take part in a very successful Essential Tremor Education Forum organized by the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 10, 2018.





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