New Procedure at OU Health Changing The Lives Of Those With Essential Tremors

A new procedure at OU Health has changed the way individuals with essential tremors see improvements.

Monday, November 20th 2023, 7:46 pm

By: News 9, Mike Glover


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It’s estimated that five percent of adults over the age of forty have an essential tremor, but there is a new treatment in the state that is really making a difference.

“I didn’t know at that time how long I could continue to go down that road,” said Vinita resident, Herb Schultz who deals with an essential tremor.

Schultz has a family history of tremors. “I saw my grandmother and my dad with the tremors, and my aunt with the tremors,” said Schultz.

He first noticed the signs in his late twenties but by his forties, he was on multiple medications, that were declining in results. “Instead of giving you a full glass to drink, a half of a glass, because you would literally shake so much it would fly out of the cup,” said Schultz.

But then they heard about focused ultrasound, a procedure recently made available at OU Health. “We can deliver energy to the deep part of the brain, that causes a small lesion, that lesion or that tiny little burn that precise specific area of damage can short circuit essential tremor,” said Dr. Andrew Conner, OU Health Physicians Neurosurgeon.

Dr. Conner introduced the procedure to the state earlier this year and Schultz was the perfect candidate. “It was really disabling to him, it was really affecting his ability to do the thing he wanted to do,” said Dr. Conner.

“From the time they bolted the halo on me, to the time they unbolted it, two hours,” said Schultz. 

Patients go through a series of MRIs with no incisions, no anesthesia, and immediate results. “Each time you could see the improvement of me signing my name,” said Schultz. “Obviously improved, it’s not just a subjective thing. Anyone who can see, can see that their tremor is improved,” said Dr. Conner.

“I saw immediate changes,” said Schultz.

The procedure has changed Schultz’s life, and it has also had an effect on Dr. Conner. “It’s literally why I do what I do,” said Dr. Conner.

For more information about the Focused Ultrasound procedure call OU Health at 1-800-574-1974.

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