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Patient Experience:
Progression of Disease

New York City- An estimated 10 million Americans suffer with essential tremor (ET), also known as familial tremor, a progressive neurological condition that causes trembling in different parts of the body, usually the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. Often this condition is confused with Parkinson’s disease, but they are not the same. The most differentiating symptom is ET patients experience the tremors while performing an action, while those with Parkinson’s disease only experience the tremors while they are at rest.

There are a number of medications that are used to treat ET, but over time many patients find that the medication becomes less effective in controlling their tremors. In fact, only about half of ET patients receive substantial relief from medication.  For those patients who have a severe, disabling tremor that prevents them from performing daily tasks and don’t respond to medication, a surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be an option. DBS involves placing one or two electrodes into the brain and connecting them to a pacemaker-like device that is implanted into the chest. The electrical currentthat flows to the brain significantly reduces the ET symptoms and improves the patient’s quality of life.

Watch Dr.Robert R. Goodman, Chair of Neurosurgery for St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals and Beth Israel Medical Center, implant the electrodes into the brain of an ET patient. The surgery was performed at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. Dr.Goodman followed up with the patient six weeks later and we share the life-changing results.

Dr. Goodman is an expert in using DBS to treat a variety of movement disorders including ET, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. He also has expertise in treating brain tumorsepilepsytrigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm and hydrocephalus.

To make an appointment with Dr. Robert Goodman for a consultation on deep brain stimulation at Roosevelt Hospital in NYC, please call (212) 636-3666. To learn more about the department of neurosurgery, please visit www.RooseveltNeurosurgery.org.

Dr. Goodman received his MD and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed a general surgery internship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, did a post-doctoral laboratory research fellowship in Neurology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and completed a neurological surgery residency at Columbia’s Neurological Institute. He was a Visiting Fellow in Epilepsy Surgery at The Montreal Neurological Institute for Epilepsy Surgery.