The Complementary Medical Association

Delivering excellence in complementary medicine since 1993

Sound Treatment for Essential Hand Tremors

Robert Bosloper hand tremors
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What are Essential Hand Tremors?

Essential tremors are fairly common and caused by a usually-progressive neurological condition, and mainly involve the hands, head, and voice. Often confused with Parkinson’s disease tremors that also usually start in the hands, and can affect the legs, chin, and other parts of the body. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease caused by the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the substantia nigra area of the brain. (See Parkinson’s: Autoimmune Attack May Start Years Before Diagnosis)

The Impact of Essential Hand Tremors

Hand tremors can be anything from mild to extreme. At the higher end of the scale, picking up a drink without it splashing all over your clothes, writing smoothly, or playing musical instruments effectively becomes near on impossible.

Robert Bosloper has suffered from involuntary hand movements for most of his adult life and as such knows all too well to implications of living with what is known as essential handshaking, day in day out. Historically Robert has still been able to play the organ during his weekly attendance of church, but recently even this has been affected by his tremors.

Like Robert, millions of people around the world deal with essential tremors and spend their days trying to find coping mechanisms in order to deal with the impacts of this on a day to day basis. 

Researchers haven’t been entirely sure what causes the neurological disorder that leads to this involuntary and rhythmic shaking but recently Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center became the first and only hospital in New Jersey – and one of only a few in the country – to stop tremors using a non-invasive MRI-guided focused ultrasound. 

Therapeutic Power of Sound Waves 

Focused ultrasound uses sound waves that travel through the skin and skull, which means that the procedure can be performed without any incisions. Under MRI guidance, the sound waves are precisely focused on a targeted area deep in the brain. The sound waves create heat, which is used to disrupt the abnormal signals that cause tremors. The focused ultrasound system includes safety features that measure temperature changes in the skull and reduce the risk of damage to surrounding brain tissue. 

The focused ultrasound procedure is non-invasive, requires no incisions, and is performed while the patient is awake. Treatment often can be done on an outpatient basis with little to no risk of infection or complications, and the patient can return to everyday activities in a few days and with minimal side effects.

The treatment was developed by the innovative medical technology company INSIGHTEC and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease that has not responded to medications. 

Having undergone the treatment, Robert soon returned to playing the organ flawlessly, and once again can enjoy bringing the joy of music to those around him!


New Treatment for Essential Hand Tremors Helps Organist Play the Sounds of this Season Flawlessly. Hackensack Meridian Health, December 2021.

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