Provider Spotlight: Dr. Elias

The Essential Tremor Education Center has partnered with several pioneering medical facilities and their specialists to help others learn more about essential tremor. Dr. Jeffrey Elias from the University of Virginia Medical Center is a key contributor in new essential tremor treatment.

In 2009, Dr. Neal Kassell introduced Dr. Elias to early focused ultrasound studies taking place in Switzerland. The University of Virginia Medical Center gained access to this technology and conducted its own clinical trials to test the effectiveness. Dr. Elias led this international clinical trial of 76 patients to prove this could be a safe and effective way to offer symptomatic relief. This treatment, often referred to as Neuravive, uses MRI to target the area of the brain thought to be causing the tremor. Then, it uses short bursts of ultrasound waves to lesion the area of the brain, instantly offering symptomatic relief for many patients without using invasive surgery or ionizing radiation.

Of course, patients may have some concerns about Neuravive. The treatment is still too new to see how it holds up over time. “Fortunately, Neuravive can be very effective,” Dr. Elias said. “But it is certainly an early-stage technology that has a wide range of outcomes.” Still, he sees the treatment potentially being useful for a wider range of conditions: “Obviously, patients with Parkinson’s disease are interested because of the early results treating tremor. I am hopeful that we will see this technology applied to conditions like mood disorders, depression, and pain problems.”

In addition to his dedication to the field of neurosurgery, Dr. Elias enjoys being a father, spending time with his kids in order to pass down his passion for outdoor activities, and sports. However, as a neurosurgeon, his attention is turned toward patients.

Day after day, Dr. Elias shows his dedication to helping patients cope with essential tremor. He explains, “The most rewarding part of my job is to really get to be with patients as they proceed on a journey to try to treat their diseases and symptoms.” The Essential Tremor Education Center team is excited to join forces with our alliance members, such as the University of Virginia, to continue the work of helping patients with their tremors. If you’d like to speak to an educator to see if Neuravive, or another essential tremor treatment, may be right for you, please reach out to us today by calling, 844-668-7366 or 844-NO-TREMOR.