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Rick Brandes has been dealing with essential tremors for three decades, which has greatly affected his confidence. This genetic disorder causes uncontrollable shaking in specific muscle groups, leading to embarrassing moments on dates and loss of ability to engage in activities he loves, like fishing.

The impact of essential tremors on individuals goes beyond physical symptoms. Brandes shared how it affected his social life, causing situations where he felt 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 now, he looks forward to relishing the experience of casting a line without interference from shaky hands.

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