COVID-19 information

Visiting is once again welcomed at The Walton Centre. So that we can safely reintroduce visiting, visits should be pre-booked with an allocated appointment slot.

General safety measures remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice. 

First Walton Centre patient receives groundbreaking treatment for Essential Tremor

Date: 28 April 2022

focused ultrasound first patient

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust has rolled out a new service using 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, which will make it the first centre in the north of England, second in the country overall, to offer an incisionless treatment for the condition. 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.

With over one million people living with Essential Tremor in the UK, around 25% are severely disabled by their tremors (https://tremor.org.uk/).

Maureen Greenough had been living with Essential Tremor for several years before being the first to be offered this innovative treatment at The Walton Centre. 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. We’re planning a holiday this year and we have a wedding in the summer to go to – I now cannot wait! The treatment The Walton Centre provides is excellent, and I will be forever grateful to the team for helping me.”

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.

Medical Director Dr Andrew Nicolson said: “We consider this treatment a game-changer for our patients with Essential Tremor. Those eligible will be able to have the treatment and see their symptoms on one side of their body essentially disappear. Usually to achieve this effect in Movement Disorders, it would require much more invasive surgical intervention. It’s been an incredible team effort and the first treatment today marks the start of an invaluable service we can offer our patients.”     

Mr Jibril Osman Farah, Consultant Neurosurgeon and one of the lead clinicians for this project, hopes that the waiting list can be reduced significantly now The Walton Centre can offer the treatment. He said: “Those patients in the north of England waiting for this treatment can now come here to Liverpool, rather than have to wait to be treated in London, which can be difficult to get to. Focused Ultrasound is a groundbreaking treatment for patients with Essential Tremor. To test how effective the treatment is we ask patients to draw spirals before, during and after, and the results are so striking. Before it was a scribble, and after it is a clear spiral, the tremors are drastically reduced. I’m so proud of the team and how we’ve pulled together to bring this treatment to patients here at The Walton Centre.”

The innovative technology was developed and implemented by Insightec, who have worked closely with The Walton Centre to deliver this new treatment to patients in the North of England.

Maurice R. Ferré MD, Insightec CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors said: “We are deeply committed to continuing to transform patient care with minimally invasive, innovative surgical procedures. The Exablate system will help support a better quality of life for people diagnosed and living with Essential Tremor.”

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

 

-Ends-

 

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 Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust has rolled out a new service using 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.