Essential Tremor and Gamma Knife

July 20, 2018

Gamma knife radiosurgeryis a type of therapy used to treat tumors and other brain abnormalities. Gamma knife surgery is not a normal type of surgery because there is not an incision at the surgery site. It is one of the most proven brain radiation treatments that has been used so far in the medical field. It is non-invasive and involves no incision. The gamma knife is not a knife at all but 201 beams of radiation that help control turmos as well as other disorders without harming surrounding healthy tissue. 

With gamma knife treatment, patients are usually in and out of the hospital in a day’s time, and back to their normal routines soon after treatment. Gamma knife radiosurgery may be used in place of traditional surgery or whole brain radiation. It just depends on the patients needs and condition. Gamma knife treatment has the lowest toxicity to healthy tissue, and gives two to three times the lower dose compared to other technologies. There is also more clinical evidence for this treatment as opposed to other competing technologies. 

There are a few reasons why Gamma knife has been backed by clinical evidence as a better option to other treatments. Gamma knife is a “dedicated system” designed exclusively and made to best treat targets in the head. It also does not require general anesthesia, and it doesn’t involve the risks that come along with normal surgery. Risks of normal surgery include hemorrhage, infection, spinal fluid leaks, or other morbidities. Gamma knife is so precise that it can target sub-millimeter accuracy of treatment delivery. Because the radiation is so focused and accurate, it limits the radiation to normal brain tissue, which keeps the brain safe from being exposed to radiation unnecessarily.

Gamma knife radiosurgery has been used to treat movement disorders such as essential tremor. There are different types of gamma knife surgery, and different treatments that help different conditions. Approximately 5 million people in America are affected by essential tremors. Because essential tremor is usually treated by invasive procedures, they are usually not recommended unless the symptoms are severe enough that they deeply impact everyday function and life. Because gamma knife has been found to treat these tremors very effectively with little side effects and lack of invasiveness, it is becoming a more common treatment and a very viable option for most people suffering from essential tremor. 

Overall, gamma knife is a great option for those with essential tremor because it has been found to be highly successful in this type of movement disorder and treating symptoms. There is no cure for essential tremor, but gamma knife can be a good way to treat symptoms and add to the quality of life for those suffering from essential tremor. Gamma knife is very non-invasive, and limits radiation to very targeted areas of disorder and dysfunction. Because of this, non-surgical options are becoming more popular and effective in treating essential tremor in the population of those who suffer from its effects.