Alliance Member Spotlight: Travis Tierney

The Essential Tremor Education Center partners with leading voices in tremor treatment to bring you the best information possible, so you can take your health into your own hands while seeking symptomatic relief. Today, we’d like to highlight Dr. Travis Tierney from the Sperling Medical Group, and his thoughts about Neuravive treatment for essential tremor, also known as MR-guided focused ultrasound.

Dr. Travis Tierney enjoys spending time with his family, reading biographies, running, and helping his patients find needed relief from essential tremor. He first started studying treatment options while acting as part of the first focused ultrasound study at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Taking interest in this procedure, he continued his research by acting as a principal investigator in a pivotal multi-institutional study of focused ultrasound at Harvard.

What sparked his interest in focused ultrasound? The safety—especially in comparison to other surgical procedures. This noninvasive form of treatment uses MRI to target the area of the brain responsible for the tremor, and then uses focused ultrasound waves to lesion the brain. Without using surgery, the risk of complications is diminished while many patients still experience steadier hands.

He notes that patients have some understandable concerns about Neuravive, especially the economic hurdle—the procedure can be expensive for many who would benefit, and it’s not yet widely covered by insurance.

Patients who have undergone the procedure have experienced a greatly reduced tremor as a result. Dr. Tierney says it’s been rewarding, “seeing our patient’s happiness after the treatment and the way focused ultrasound changed their lives.” He hopes the benefits for the technology will stretch beyond essential tremor. Dr. Tierney sees it potentially being helpful for other conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dystonia, pediatric brain tumors, and epilepsy as well.

Whether it’s through Neuravive or another commonly used tremor treatment such as deep brain stimulation, many patients have experienced relief from essential tremor. To learn more about what treatment may be available, you can call the educators at the Essential Tremor Education Center at 844-NO-TREMOR today.