When we want to learn more about our health, such as when we’re experiencing essential tremor symptoms, we often start by searching online. The Essential Tremor Education Center aims to give you up-to-date information on essential tremor through our educators and alliance members who are pioneers in treatment. Today we’d like to highlight Charlene Aldrich, a clinician at one of our alliance member hospitals, the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Charlene Aldrich works as a Clinical Research Manager in the University of Maryland’s Department of Neurosurgery. According to the Times Higher Education, the University of Maryland has built up a reputation for their research and was ranked one of the top 100 universities in the world for its teaching and research. Aldrich has participated in in clinical trials for treatments of nearly every diagnosis in the field of neuroscience along with Dr. Howard Eisenberg. She has spent 27 years building the department to be one of the highest research-involved neurosurgery locations in the country.
Aldrich considers focused ultrasound treatment to be a highlight of her career. The technology behind this treatment has recently received FDA-approval for essential tremor. Using focused ultrasound, a physician can treat the area of a patient’s brain causing the tremor—without using radiation or making an incision. As Aldrich loves helping people through her research, she is excited about the impact this treatment could have for many with essential tremor. She notes that neuroscience can take a long time to receive FDA approval. But, after many successful clinical trials, this treatment is now available to more people.
As a clinical researcher, Aldrich stresses that the most important factor of any trial, including these focused ultrasound trials, is safety. From the initial pilot studies all the way to the pivotal studies that statistically prove that the treatment can work, a researcher’s focus is always to make sure that the patients are safe. Overall, she considers the trials for focused ultrasound to be a success that far exceeded expectations. The proof of this? The patients who walk away from the treatment with a significantly reduced tremor.
If you want to hear more about Aldrich’s experiences researching treatment for essential tremor symptoms, you can hear her share her stories in this Tremor Chats episode. If you’d like to hear more about treatment options for your essential tremor, our educators at the Essential Tremor Education Center are here to help. You can talk to them today by calling 844-NO-TREMOR.