Neurological and Spine Institute

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Riverside offers MRI Focused Ultrasound, an incision-free treatment option for people living with essential tremor or tremor-dominant Parkinson’s Disease. Sometimes called Hi Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), this advanced treatment is done as an outpatient procedure inside an MRI scanner while the patient is awake with little to no harm to the surrounding brain tissues.

What are the Benefits?

  • Benefits to MRI Focused Ultrasound include:
  • No incisions or implanted hardware
  • Safe and effective with minimal impact to surrounding brain tissue
  • Reduced infection to non-targeted areas of the brain
  • Immediate resolution of symptoms for many patients
  • Outpatient procedure with most patients going home the same day
  • Quick recovery time with most patients able to return to daily activities within a few days procedure
  • FDA approved

How Does it Work?

The MRI allows the neurosurgeon to precisely visualize the ant-tremor target within the brain. Then low frequency ultrasound waves are used to allow the patient to provide feedback on tremor improvement. This allows the neurosurgeons to make any needed adjustments prior to the treatment with the high intensity focused ultrasound waves are applied. As the individually harmless ultrasound waves are delivered through more than 1,000 different angles surrounding the brain that only overlap at one precise point, the surrounding brain tissue experiences little to damage. After each treatment with the high intensity ultrasound, the neurosurgeons asks the patient to perform tasks, such as touching their nose or writing, to evaluate the improvement on the tremor.

Currently the technology is only approved for unilateral use, or us on one side of the brain. If someone is experiencing bilateral tremors, typically the dominant side is treated.   

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Is MRI Focused Ultrasound Right for You?

Talk to your provider to determine if the MRI Focused Ultrasound procedure might be right for you. All patients referred for the procedure will undergo patient evaluation to be sure that the treatment is appropriate for your individual situation. This evaluation will include assessment of the severity of the tremor, overall health and a CT scan.

Take the Next Step
Are you living with Essential Tremor or tremor dominant Parkinson’s Disease? To find out if you might be a candidate for MRI Focused Ultrasound, please:

  • Call us at 757-534-5200 or

If you qualify, the program coordinator will schedule an appointment with a provider from our Movement Disorders team for an in-person evaluation.


How to Learn More

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Focused Ultrasound Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease, Brian’s Story

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