Israeli treatment cures man of tremor

InSightec ExAblate Neuro gives Sami Zangi back the use of his hands, in the first procedure of its kind in Israel.

Rambam staffers monitoring Sami Zangi’s groundbreaking guided ultrasound treatment.

Rambam staffers monitoring Sami Zangi’s groundbreaking guided ultrasound treatment.

Sami Zangi suffered from essential tremor for 15 years.

The involuntary shaking in his hands was so bad that he could not successfully bring a glass of water to his lips or a pen to piece of paper. In November, treatment with focused ultrasound beams developed and commercialized by InSightec appears to have cured Zangi.

Israeli doctors hope he will be the first of many to benefit from the technology.

This milestone in Israeli medical history was made at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, using InSightec’s ExAblate Neuro MRI-guided high-intensity ultrasound technology.

The ExAblate system uses a regular MRI treatment table. The tool allows doctors to destroy targets, such as tumors and uterine fibroid cysts, deep inside the body without incisions or anesthesia.

In Zangi’s case, surgeons treated deep brain tissue without opening his skull, a radical approach never before tried in Israel. Right after the procedure, Zangi drank from a cup with a steady hand.

ExAblate Neuro is also indicated for the treatment of neuropathic pain and Parkinson’s disease tremors. It is already in use in Europe and is being tested by neurosurgeons and physicists at leading research hospitals in Switzerland, Korea, Japan, Canada and the United States.

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About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.