Patient Spotlight: Ken Blum

Hand tremors like essential tremor often develop in adults over 50. For adults who have had a longtime tremor, they may wonder if they’re too old to receive treatments like focused ultrasound. At 91 years old, Ken Blum has proven that there’s no reason to worry about your age as a possible inhibitor. He has just recently undergone focused ultrasound treatment and was excited to share his story on Tremor Chats.

Blum first noticed his tremor when sitting down with a friend who also had essential tremor—and pointed out to him that his hand was shaking. Over 10 years, Blum watched his tremor get progressively worse. He described his tremor as “embarrassing.” He couldn’t eat food without making a mess and couldn’t enjoy a beer with his friends without drinking through a straw.

He took to the internet to find possible treatment options and saw focused ultrasound treatment being studied in Israel. He followed news about focused ultrasound for 2 or 3 years until he started seeing Dr. Kaplitt’s name appear in articles. Dr. Kaplitt worked out of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York—a location much closer to Blum, who lived in Florida.

Blum took the 1200 mile journey to receive treatment at Weill Cornell. And his overall experience was worth the trip. He found the staff and environment to be comfortable enough that his claustrophobia wasn’t an issue, even while lying in the cramped MRI machine. Afterward, he was even able to hold a glass of water without spilling.

On Tremor Chats, Blum shows off the difference between his treated and untreated hands with humor. “Hello,” he says, holding up his now steady hand. “And goodbye,” he says, holding up his untreated hand, shaking enough to appear as though he were waving goodbye. He considers this joke to be part of his post-treatment bucket list—at the top of his list is to make at least two people a day laugh. If you’re worried about receiving treatment at an older age, check out Ken Blum sharing his inspiring story on Tremor Chats. You can also share any questions or concerns about your hand tremors with one of our educators by calling 844-NO-TREMOR.