With Focused Ultrasound from the Swedish Medical Center, Gregg Returned to Work

Essential tremor can be severe enough to negatively impact a person’s ability to perform basic tasks. Gregg Ley knows this well. Three years ago, he began to experience increased tremors in his right side. He could no longer live his life the way he had before. He struggled to eat with utensils, he couldn’t write his own name, and his tremors prevented him from working in the TV repair shop he owned with his brother. In his search for essential tremor treatment, he traveled to Seattle to visit the Swedish Medical Center for help.

Thanks to knowledgeable physicians like Dr. Ryder Gwinn, the Swedish Medical Center has become a leader in research for a new treatment option for essential tremor, MR-guided focused ultrasound, or Neuravive. It’s currently the only facility in the Pacific Northwest to offer the treatment to patients. Unlike previous treatment options, focused ultrasound does not use invasive surgery. To help Gregg’s tremor, MRI was used to locate the damaged area of the brain causing the tremor—and then focused ultrasound was used to lesion the area, without ever having to make an incision.

The outpatient treatment took four and a half hours, and the results were immediate. Gregg’s tremor diminished enough for him to draw a spiral perfectly post-treatment. Before, he struggled to write his name. Now, he can write and eat again without dropping the food on his fork. He can return to his work. Gregg spoke positively of his results after visiting the Swedish Medical Center, saying, “It’s a wonderful thing. I’ve got my life back.”

Dr. Ryder Gwinn and the Swedish Medical Center are continuing to help patients like Gregg who are suffering because of essential tremor. Focused ultrasound treatment has helped many patients enjoy a diminished tremor. Although long-term results are still unknown, as the procedure has only been FDA approved since July, 2016, the Swedish Medical Center has hope for these patients who have experienced positive results. If you or your loved ones have essential tremor and would like to learn more about focused ultrasound or other essential tremor treatment options that may be available, please contact our educators at the Essential Tremor Education Center by calling 844-NO-TREMOR.