100th patient receives pioneering treatment for Essential Tremor

Date: 20 June 2024

Time: 00:01

FU 24

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust has reached a milestone in using a cutting-edge treatment for people living with Essential Tremor – a neurological disorder that causes an uncontrollable shake or trembling in a part of the body.

The UK’s first specialist neurosciences hospital won the contract to deliver the new service at the end of 2021, making it the first centre in the North of England, second in the country overall, to offer an incisionless treatment for the condition. Since the service launch in April 2022, 100 patients have undergone the innovative procedure.

Called Trans-cranial MR-guided Focused Ultrasound, or Focused Ultrasound for short, it involves thermal tissue ablation, targeted at the key areas of the brain causing the tremors.

Essential Tremor is considered one of the most common neurological movement disorders and is estimated to be eight to 10 times more prevalent than Parkinson's disease according to the National Tremor Foundation.

53-year-old Steve O’Connor, originally from Manchester, now living in West Yorkshire, is the 100th patient to receive Focused Ultrasound at The Walton Centre. He said: “I’ve had Essential Tremor all my life, so I’ve never known anything different. But over lockdown a couple of years ago, the tremors got much worse. I lecture in Creative Writing, so being able to write on a whiteboard and even hold a pen to write on paper is incredibly important to me. Having Focused Ultrasound on my dominant side has been revolutionary. It’s new to have a hand that doesn’t tremor, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Thank you to Mr Osman Farah, his team and everyone at The Walton Centre who has supported me during the procedure.”

Eligible patients get one Focused Ultrasound treatment to reduce the tremors on one side of their body. Current regulatory approvals demonstrate good clinical durability, with tremor relief maintained at three years. Long term plans for the service will include reviewing patients who have had the treatment for a second round to address their other side of their body.

Medical Director Dr Andrew Nicolson said: “The clinical teams have been full steam ahead since the service launch in 2022. All of those who have been treated with Focused Ultrasound have seen huge benefits, the majority seeing their tremors essentially disappear as soon as the procedure is over. Before, patients would have to undergo major surgery to achieve similar results, so it’s certainly a milestone to be proud of.”

Mr Jibril Osman Farah, Consultant Neurosurgeon and lead clinician for this project said: “We’ve had a very productive two years delivering this service to patients with Essential Tremor. The outcomes have been nothing short of incredible. I’m regularly seeing patients returning to clinic after treatment continuing to be tremor-free. It’s an ongoing team effort, and I’m delighted we can continue to offer this pioneering treatment to patients, and expand it in the future.”

Maureen Greenough, from St Helen’s, was the first Essential Tremor patient to receive Focused Ultrasound at The Walton Centre. She had experienced tremors for several years before being offered this treatment. The procedure was a complete success and she no longer has tremors in her right hand-side.

She said: “I couldn’t believe how immediate the change was. As soon as I left the treatment room I noticed that my right hand had stopped shaking, it was like the team at The Walton centre had flipped a switch! Before this my writing was terrible, I couldn’t hold a cup without using both hands. I felt a lot of embarrassment and I didn’t feel comfortable eating in front of people. Now that’s all changed. The treatment The Walton Centre provides is excellent, and I will be forever grateful to the team for helping me.”

For more information about Focused Ultrasound, go to our website: https://www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk/departments-and-services/focused-ultrasound/604532





Notes to editors

Further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact the Communications Team at The Walton Centre on 0151 556 3397 or wcft.communications@nhs.net

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. Although the majority of patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders we see patients from all parts of the country, referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England published its rating on Friday 21 October 2016, following announced and unannounced inspection visits to the Trust in April 2016.

For more information please visit: www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk or follow the Trust on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ
0151 525 3611




  • Summary:

    The Trust has reached a milestone in using a cutting-edge treatment for people living with Essential Tremor – a neurological disorder that causes an uncontrollable shake or trembling in a part of the body.