April 22, 2024 12:23 am
Indy man back to fishing thanks to successful procedure at IU Health

Rick Brandes has been dealing with shaky hands for three decades, which has greatly affected his confidence. Essential tremors, a genetic disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking in specific muscle groups, has impacted Brandes’ social life, making him feel embarrassed about spilling food or drinks in public. Despite his struggles, Brandes sought help from his neurosurgeon at IU Health, who introduced him to the Focused Ultrasound procedure as a potential solution.

Dr. Thomas Whitt, Brandes’ neurosurgeon, brought the Focused Ultrasound procedure to Indianapolis in August 2023 to assist patients with essential tremors. This non-invasive technique doesn’t require incisions or drilling in the head. By using a metal frame and ultrasound waves guided by the frame, doctors can target and destroy specific cells causing tremors, reducing the symptoms while minimizing side effects.

Brandes underwent the Focused Ultrasound procedure and experienced significant improvements in his condition. The procedure has been successful in alleviating his tremors, with minimal side effects such as numbness around the mouth. Brandes expressed how transformative the treatment has been for him, allowing him to pursue activities like fishing without the hindrance of tremors for the first time in years.

With newfound confidence and stability in his hands, Brandes is excited about the prospect of fishing without tremors. Owning a fishing boat for four years, he looks forward to relishing the experience of casting a line without the interference of shaky hands, allowing him to reconnect with his passion and enjoy moments of peace and joy on the water.

The impact of essential tremors on individuals goes beyond physical symptoms. In addition to affecting an individual’s social life and confidence levels due to embarrassing moments on dates or public settings where they may accidentally spill food or drinks.

Despite these challenges, Brandes sought help from Dr. Whitt at IU Health who introduced him to the Focused Ultrasound procedure as a potential solution.

This non-invasive technique uses a metal frame and ultrasound waves guided by it to target and destroy specific cells causing tremors while minimizing side effects such as numbness around the mouth.

Brandes underwent this treatment and experienced significant improvements in his condition.

With newfound confidence and stability in his hands, Brandes is excited about pursuing activities like fishing without hindrance caused by shaky hands.

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