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New procedure helps steady tremors - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New procedure helps steady tremors

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NEW YORK -

Alexandra Lebenthal says it takes an unsteady hand to appreciate a steady one.

"This is the new and improved and perfect hand," she said.

The 52-year-old Wall Street businesswoman suffers from essential tremor, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking. She says it has affected every aspect of her life, including her work.

"Taking a glass of wine or sparkling water from a tray at a party," she said. "Being able to take a picture with my iPhone. So many basic, basic things."

Lebenthal was one of the first patients to receive a new FDA-approved treatment for essential tremor. Dr. Michael Kaplitt from Weill Cornell Medical College says a noninvasive ultrasound device called Exablate Neuro targets the part of the brain causing the shaking.

"It allows us to send ultrasound waves to specific spots in the brain and actually change the way the brain functions," Kaplitt said.

Patients have reported a nearly 50 percent improvement in their tremors.

The procedure can only be done on one side of the brain. So Lebenthal chose the right side of her brain because she's left-handed.

"This is now after the procedure. So just unbelievable," she said.

She hopes modern medicine finds a way to eliminate her tremors but says having one steady hand has changed her life.

Doctors say the new procedure could potentially be applied to other neurological disorders, including epilepsy.

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