“It’s like you’re feeling brand new again.” Miami Neuroscience Institute patient Roberto Rodriguez
More than 10 million people are living with Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes a host of debilitating symptoms. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Miami Neuroscience Institute has continued to provide the most innovative techniques to treat Parkinson’s and related disorders like Essential Tremor. If you’ve never considered how tremor can disrupt someone’s life, just ask Roberto Rodriguez, a 72-year-old patient who was unable to write, shave or drink from a glass.
The technology that would change Roberto’s life is called high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HiFU. Available at only a few facilities in the U.S., this advanced, minimally invasive procedure sends more than 1,000 beams of ultrasound to a specific location of the brain. There, sound waves converge and destroy problem areas, such as those that are “disrupting an abnormal circuit in the brain,” explains neurosurgeon Justin Sporrer, M.D. of Miami Neuroscience Institute. HiFU will improve the quality of life for those suffering from Essential Tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson's disease in groundbreaking ways.
“I am still surprised every time I see it, and the patients often are, you know, either laughing or crying out of joy because the effects are so dramatic,” said Dr. Sporrer. “So, when we just finished taking Roberto back to see his wife, he immediately held his hand up so that he could show her that it’s no longer shaking. He was able to write a whole sentence and it was legible. And he was able to grasp a glass of water and bring it up to his lips with no spilling. And it’s just very satisfying."
Miami Neuroscience Institute is leading the way with this transformative treatment that is profoundly improving the lives of patients like Roberto. “I would say thank you, and I’d like to encourage people that might be suffering from this situation — please go check it out,” says Roberto. “It’s not painful at all. And, believe me, you’re going to know the difference — it’s like you’re feeling brand new again.”
Join us this April, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Your gift will support this important HiFU program and help more patients like Roberto experience life to the fullest.