Focused Ultrasound for Tremors

Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, checks on the progress of patient Alexandra Lebenthal between pulses of focused ultrasound for her essential tremor

What Is It?
High-intensity focused ultrasound is an advanced treatment that uses 1,000 precisely targeted beams of ultrasound energy to converge on a single, minuscule spot in the brain that is causing symptoms, particularly tremors. Dr. Michael Kaplitt, a pioneer in the use of this treatment for essential tremor, is now performing it routinely on patients with essential tremor. As of January 2023, with FDA approval, he is now performing the procedure on the second side of the brain in patients who had one side of the brain treated previously. He is also testing it for symptoms of Parkinson's disease. One of the most experienced neurosurgeons in the world in the use of focused ultrasound for essential tremor, Dr. Kaplitt performs the procedure multiple times every week with excellent results.

What's New:
Dr. Kaplitt continues to treat new patients and is also now treating previously treated patients on the second side of their brain. Call 212-746-4966 for an appointment or email for more information.

Patient Success Stories
Hear from some of the patients who have undergone focused ultrasound treatment:

Alexandra Lebenthal: Our First Focused Ultrasound Patient Comes Back for Seconds
Steve Smith: "It's a Miracle — Total Life-Changer!"
Katina Ansen: "After Focused Ultrasound, I've Gotten My Life Back!"
Katina Ansen: "It's Like Magic!" (second side treatment)
Alexandra Lebenthal: The prominent CEO talks to Business Insider about her procedure

Alexandra Lebenthal, before and after her focused ultrasound procedure:

Alexandra Lebenthal, before her focused ultrasound procedure

Alexandra Lebenthal, before her focused ultrasound procedure

Find out more about Essential Tremor

The Background:
In July 2016 Dr. Michael Kaplitt became the first doctor in New York to use high-intensity focused ultrasound after the FDA approved it for use against essential tremor. The technology is a new way to eliminate the source of tremors in a completely non-invasive way. Since then, Dr. Kaplitt has performed the procedure on many more patients, including CEO Alexandra Lebenthal, with great success. The links below provide more information about the procedure. 

Dr. Kaplitt First in New York to Use Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor

Blog Post: New Hope for Movement Disorders

Steady Hand: New Treatment Offers Relief for Patients With Essential Tremor

WCM NEWSROOM: Patient Alexandra Lebenthal Looks to MRI-Guided Ultrasound Treatment to Relieve Tremors

Listen: Alexandra Lebenthal and Dr. Kaplitt were featured on an episode of Dr. Stieg's podcast, This Is Your Brain With Dr. Phil Stieg (scroll down for podcast link)

Read: Dr. Kaplitt has published many peer-reviewed articles on focused ultrasound. See those articles here


The video below, provided by the device manufacturer, shows how the procedure works:


A Top Hospital Neurosurgery in the World, #1 in NY, Third Year in a Row!

Since Newsweek and Statista started ranking specialized hospitals in 2021, the neurosurgery service at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University has been at the top...

What our Patients Say

A lot has happened for Alexandra Lebenthal in the past seven years. In 2016 she became our first patient treated with MRI-guided focused ultrasound (FUS) after the FDA approved it for essential tremor. Since then, she and her husband, Jay, have...

Our Care Team

  • Executive Vice Chair, Neurological Surgery
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Director, Movement Disorders and Pain
  • Director, Residency Program
Phone: 212-746-4966
  • Chief Nurse Practitioner
Phone: 212-746-4966

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787