Primary care physicians are often the first to see patients with symptoms of essential tremor. Symptoms of essential tremor can be confused with those of other conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease. Tremor similar to essential tremor can also occur rarely in multiple sclerosis or following very small strokes. Since early and expert intervention can ensure proper diagnosis and effective treatment, it is important to be evaluated at an advanced brain center as soon as possible.
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Weill Cornell Medicine's pioneering work using
Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor
The multidisciplinary team at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center’s Movement Disorders service — expert neurosurgeons along with their team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and pain management specialists — provide comprehensive, integrated care for patients with essential tremor and many other conditions of the brain. Patients receive a complete continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
We generally begin with nonsurgical, non-invasive options to treat essential tremor, usually managed by one of our expert movement disorders neurologists (see Diagnosing and Treating Parkinson’s Disease). For patients who do need surgery, we offer the latest in minimally invasive and non-invasive surgical techniques using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients respond faster, have less pain, and get back to their normal daily activities sooner than they could with older surgical methods.
A highly trained team of neurosurgeons at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center are available to treat all neurological disorders. Our surgical faculty includes one of the pioneers in Parkinson’s disease research and treatment:
Michael Kaplitt, M.D., Ph.D. specializes in neurosurgical treatment of movement disorders, including essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and dystonia, using various surgical approaches including deep brain stimulation. He was trained in this surgery by Dr. Andres Lozano at the University of Toronto and began the Movement Disorders Surgery service at Weill Cornell, which he has directed for the past 12 years. Dr. Kaplitt also directs the Laboratory of Molecular Neurosurgery, which receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and major foundations to explore causes and treatments of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
Dr. Kaplitt pioneered the use of gene therapy in the brain, and has published more than 60 papers and has edited two books on this subject. In 2007, he performed the first human gene therapy for Parkinson's disease in the world, and published results of this groundbreaking trial as a cover article in the Lancet in 2007. Dr. Kaplitt is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Gene Therapy, and he was named to Crain's 40 under 40 list for 2004. He is routinely listed in Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors and New York’s Top Doctors, as well as New York SuperDoctors and American Registry’s Compassionate Doctor Award, based upon patient feedback. He has been featured in stories relating to his research or as an expert commentator in most major national news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and both the evening national news and morning programs of all three major national television networks. More about Dr. Kaplitt
At the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, patients with essential tremor may also be seen by:
Neurologists, particularly movement disorders specialized, are essential to the diagnosis and early management of essential tremor. They are best equipped to confirm the diagnosis following extensive clinical evaluation, and they are familiar with all of the latest medical treatment options to help relieve symptoms. They will often recommend other treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, when appropriate and they work closely with functional neurosurgeons who specialize in deep brain stimulation for essential tremor.
Physical therapists have expertise in a wide range of non-surgical techniques to help with movement disorders and build strength to help prevent future injuries. A physical therapist may work with a patient as an alternative to surgery, or after surgery to help rebuild strength.
Physiatrists are rehabilitation physicians who specialize in treating injuries or illnesses that affect movement.
Pain management specialists use advanced pain management techniques allow many patients to avoid surgery altogether.
The surgeons of the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center have the state-of-the-art facilities of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the #1 hospital in New York, available to them for their lifesaving work. The combined resources and expertise of the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center allow us to offer the very best in patient care, with excellent outcomes.
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Our Care Team
- Vice Chair, Research, Neurological Surgery
- Professor of Neurological Surgery
- Director, Movement Disorders and Pain
- Director, Residency Program
- Associate Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery