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At this event, guest speakers Dr. Pravin Khemani and Dr. Ryder Gwinn will explain the causes, diagnosis, research and treatment options for essential tremor.

 

FREE event. Refreshments provided. Registration required.
Space is limited.
To register, please call 206-320-3454

 

When?
Registration 2 p.m.
Program 2:15 – 4 p.m.

 

Where?
Embassy Suites
3225 158th Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98008 (free parking)

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).

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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

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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.

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Events
21
April

Join the IETF for a free education forum to get the latest information on essential tremor and tips for managing it.

When?

June 1, 2019

1 to 4 p.m.

Where?

Hartford Hospital

Education and Resource Center, Heublein Hall

560 Hudson Street

Hartford, CT 06102

Speaker: Dr. Duarte Machado, co-director, Chase Family Movement Disorders Center

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Learn about ET symptoms and treatments directly from movement disorder neurologists and other medical experts.  It’s free!

When?
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Program: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Where?
University of California, San Diego
9452 Medical Center Drive
ACTRI Auditorium
La Jolla, CA 92037

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

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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!

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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.

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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. (more…)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. (more…)

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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Even though ET is 8 times more common than Parkinson’s disease, many people have never heard of essential tremor and don’t know what it is.  INSIGHTEC joins the network of organizations that focus on educating the public about ET with the #DoYouKnowET Facebook campaign.

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Neuravive is an incisionless treatment that uses ultrasound beams to treat medication refractory hand tremor. The treatment is performed in an MRI scanner.

Here is a list of steps that will help you navigate your way to the Neuravive Treatment:

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Lights. Camera. Action.

Every year, Las Vegas turns into a mecca for innovation.  The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Tech companies from around the world gather to show off the latest tech that is poised to completely change our lives – from self-driving cars to Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart robots to smart cities. This year, focused ultrasound took center stage. But to be honest, what was a medical technology doing at a consumer show?

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Focused ultrasound gave me back my life – it can for you, too.

It is said that our bodies are the temples of the mind, but if not, they’re certainly our vessels. When I retired in 1994, I could hardly climb two flights of stairs. But now, at 79 years old, and after earning three world records in swimming in my seventh decade, I’m appreciating all that life brings. Age, after all, is just a number.

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In my day job, I’m VP of Marketing at INSIGHTEC. What many people at work don’t know about me is that I’m a Knitter. I spell that with a capital K because knitting for me is a way of life. It has taught me so much about things that have nothing to do with yarn and needles – that meeting life goals is a marathon not a sprint, that small actions can have big impact and affect change, that success requires planning but also creativity. With each stitch, I devise strategies, solve problems and calm my craving for immediate results.
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National Family Caregivers Month is celebrated every November.  It is a month dedicated to recognizing and honoring family caregivers.

Taking a month to celebrate their labors of love helps to raise awareness about their issues and struggles, while offering some support – letting them know that they are not alone.

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Blog
20
November

In light of National Caregivers Month, this month’s blog features caregiver, Cathy Ley.

Cathy Ley’s Story:

My husband and I have been married for 33 years. The past year has been one of the best. That’s because he was in a clinical trial at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle one year ago. This trial was a treatment for his Essential Tremor using focused ultrasound and it was a complete success!

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An estimated 10 million Americans are living with essential tremor and the debilitating symptoms that can make everyday tasks feel almost impossible. With more and more apps available, we have listed some of the best out there on iOS and Android, which can help with anything from keeping a record of your tremor to improving the layout of your keyboard.

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Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction.  Your health is a team effort and you play an important role in this dynamic. One of the best ways to communicate with your doctor is by asking questions. It is important to prepare a list questions before an appointment, (1) because time is usually limited during medical appointments and (2) many people may feel intimidated by questioning their doctor’s authority, so a prepared list will help build confidence.  (more…)

The positive impact of focused ultrasound technology in treating essential-tremor

Living with uncontrollable shaking since I was 3 – I’m now 53 — I struggled to pour drinks, eat food, shake hands, write notes and swipe my subway MetroCard my whole life. I was painfully self-conscious of the visible shaking of my arms and hands all through school and adolescence, dating and graduating. Even when I became a successful CEO in the investment community, that shame continued during the many professional and social events I attended. It’s amazing I could keep the condition a secret for most of my life.

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How Neuravive’s incisionless treatment for essential-tremor improved my quality of life

I have lived my whole life in a small town of Quitman, Georgia. My wife, Cathy, and I have two grown children, Rachel and Thomas, and four grandchildren, Zack, Cody, Kinsey and Austin. I’m 58 years old. I make my living in electronics repair, fixing TVs, radios, stereos and other home electronics. My brother, Billy, is my partner in the business. Our grandfather started the radio repair business in the 1930’s when radios first came out and it’s been our family business ever since.

Essential tremor was getting in the way of my business, my family – my whole life. (more…)

Many people find peer support a helpful tool that can aid in managing their condition. There are a variety of patient advocacy groups and patient support groups that offer support for patients and their family members.

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Working at INSIGHTEC, I became aware of how daily tasks, such as holding a glass or writing with a pen, can be nearly impossible for essential tremor patients.  What I didn’t really internalize was the extent of the emotional impact that essential tremor can have on patients’ lives.  Recently, I had the honor to have a conversation with Diann Shaddox, founder of the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor.  I was incredibly moved by her story as she spoke of the frustration in coping with this disorder.
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Dr. William Ondo shares 10 symptoms that distinguish between tremors from essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

I would be remiss if I did not start with a disclaimer – for diagnosis, consult a neurologist specializing in movement disorders.

While most people are familiar with Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET) is much less known, yet actually much more common…8 times more common. Essential tremor is also referred to as benign tremor, familial tremor, or idiopathic tremor.
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HAIFA, Israel and MIAMI, Florida – INSIGHTEC®, a global medical technology innovator of incisionless surgery, today announced that The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an expansion of the indication of Exablate Neuro to include the treatment of patients with tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease (PD).

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Expanded MRI Compatibility Dramatically Increases Potential Patient Access

 

HAIFA, Israel and MIAMI, Florida – INSIGHTEC®, a global medical technology innovator of incisionless surgery, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Exablate Neuro™ compatibility for the state-of-the-art MRI Scanners Magnetom Skyra, Prisma and Prismafit from Siemens Healthineers to treat patients with essential tremor (ET).

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CNBC features a extraordinary interview about the benefits of the Exablate Neuro Treatment with Alexandra Lebenthal, Lebenthal Holdings president and CEO, and Dr. Michael Kaplitt, Weill Cornell Medicine department of neurological surgery vice-chairman for research.

For the full interview, CLICK HERE.

CNBC features a extraordinary interview about the benefits of the Exablate Neuro Treatment with Alexandra Lebenthal, Lebenthal Holdings president and CEO, and Dr. Michael Kaplitt, Weill Cornell Medicine department of neurological surgery vice-chairman for research.

For the full interview, CLICK HERE.

Doctors in London have used sound waves to successfully operate deep inside the brain.  They treated a man from Cornwall who suffered from uncontrollable tremors in his right hand.

Selwyn Lucas, who is 52, can now hold his hand steady and said he felt “fantastic”.

The team at St Mary’s hospital used MRI guided focused ultrasound to destroy tissue causing mistimed electrical signals to be sent to muscles.

The BBC was given exclusive access to the treatment, which was performed in the imaging department rather than operating theatres, and did not involve surgeons.

For the full story CLICK HERE.

Living in Carmel, golf was a passion for Joe Cusenza once he was actually able to tee off.  “Because literally I could not hold the ball steady enough to keep it on the tee,” explains Cusenza.

Joe suffered from a condition called essential tremor, which effects an estimated 10-million Americans. His right hand shook so badly, he could barely write a legible sentence. Stanford neurologist Veronica Santini, M.D.,M.A., says the normal treatments range from drugs, which can lose effectiveness over time, all the way up to major surgery.

“For instance the other therapies we have require a big brain operation, where we open the skull and we enter the brain tissue,” says Dr. Santini.

Instead the Stanford team turned to a newly approved procedure. It combines the imaging power of MRI with heat generated by a special ultrasound. With a halo-like device attached to his skull, Joe is placed in the MRI. Over the course of the treatment, doctors beam sound waves into a precise area inside Joe’s brain. That resulting heat destroys the nerve cells causing the tremors.

 

For the full story CLICK HERE.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Kaplitt and patient Alexandra Lebenthal discuss new advances in treating Essential Tremor, a nerve disorder.

Alexandra Lebenthal, the president and CEO of municipal bond company Lebenthal & Co., has undergone the Exablate Neuro treatment after  living with essential tremor since she was 3 years old. It made daily tasks like taking a sip of coffee a much more complicated task. But it’s not something she talked about much, out of embarrassment.

Don’t miss this compelling interview, where Alexandra describes the procedure as “life changing.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Seattle local news station, King 5, featured INSIGHTEC’S focused ultrasound treatment for Essential Tremor.  The Essential Tremor patient, Greg, came in from Georgia to receive the treatment at Swedish. He flew across the country to try and find a cure for a problem that he’s experience for more than 20 years.

“The last two years it’s gotten worse to the point where I can’t even sign my own name and you recognize what it says,” Greg said.  Greg works an electronic technician by trade and it’s impaired his ability to do the job.“His tremor has basically ended his career,” Dr. Gwinn said.

For full coverage: CLICK HERE.

Sharon Samuels was a teenager when she was first diagnosed with essential tremor. Over the years her condition worsened, until a new therapy came along to help improve her brain’s motor circuit.

For the full article and video on her story click here:

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