Last September, Kimberly Spletter became one of the first U.S. patients to receive focused ultrasound treatment in an MJFF-funded trial for dyskinesia with Parkinson's disease. Focused ultrasound passes thousands of ultrasound waves through the body without breaking the skin to heat and destroy abnormal cells.
Most studies around focused ultrasound are in early stages, but results so far are promising. This week, Everyday Health shared a video narrated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta showing the impact focused ultrasound made on Spletter's quality of life. Kimberly's dyskinesia, uncontrolled movements caused by levodopa use, made it difficult for her to run or bike, two of her favorite hobbies. The day she went in for her surgery, she was in a wheelchair. Immediately after the procedure, she was able to walk across the room. Today, Spletter enjoys cycling again.
“It's like nothing was wrong with me,” she told Everyday Health. “I can get on my bike and feel at one with the bike, just like it’s always been. It's incredible.”
An important note: While the focused ultrasound procedure requires no surgery and is more easily tolerated than alternatives such as deep brain stimulation, it is irreversible.