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Fashion focus: neurosurgery for tremor
  1. Ludvic Zrinzo
  1. Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ludvic Zrinzo, Functional Neurosurgery Unit, Department of Clinical & Motor Neurosciences, UCL Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK; l.zrinzo{at}

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What factors have driven the rapid adoption of focused ultrasound and what role should it have in the neurosurgical management of tremor?

Relief of medically refractory tremor is one of the most gratifying functional neurosurgery procedures. Stereotactic radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the motor thalamus was introduced in the 1950s, benefiting tens-of-thousands of patients in the following decades (figure 1).1 Gamma knife (GK) lacks an immediate tremor effect to guide targeting; therefore, the advent of high-quality MRI in the 1990s was necessary before it could be used successfully for tremor.2 By then, thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) was available with its early reversibility and stimulation adjustment to maximise efficacy versus adverse effects.3 4 Consequently, thalamotomy was largely relegated to those who could not undergo, or could not afford, DBS.

Figure 1

Handwriting before (left panels) …

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  • Contributors LZ is the sole contributor to this work.

  • Funding LZ receives support from the University College London Hospitals NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

  • Competing interests LZ acts as consultant to Medtronic, Boston Scientific and Elekta.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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