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Indy man back to fishing thanks to successful procedure at IU Health

Rick Brandes has been battling with essential tremors for three decades, which has had a significant impact on his confidence. Essential tremors are a genetic disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking in specific muscle groups. Brandes has experienced the challenges this condition can bring, including embarrassing moments on dates and losing the ability to engage in activities he loves, like fishing.

The effects of essential tremors go beyond physical symptoms and can greatly affect an individual’s social life. Brandes shared how it made him feel self-conscious about spilling food or drinks in public. Despite his struggles, Brandes sought help from his neurosurgeon at IU Health, who introduced him to the Focused Ultrasound procedure as a potential solution.

Dr. Thomas Whitt, Brandes’ neurosurgeon, brought the Focused Ultrasound procedure to Indianapolis in August 2023 to assist patients with essential tremors. This non-invasive technique doesn’t require incisions or drilling in the head. By using a metal frame and ultrasound waves guided by the frame, doctors can target and destroy specific cells causing tremors, reducing the symptoms while minimizing side effects.

Brandes underwent the Focused Ultrasound procedure and experienced significant improvements in his condition. The procedure has been successful in alleviating his tremors, with minimal side effects such as numbness around the mouth. Brandes expressed how transformative the treatment has been for him, allowing him to pursue activities like fishing without the hindrance of tremors for the first time in years.

With newfound confidence and stability in his hands, Brandes is excited about the prospect of fishing without tremors. Owning a fishing boat for four years, he looks forward to relishing the experience of casting a line without the interference of shaky hands, allowing him to reconnect with his passion and enjoy moments of peace and joy on the water.

Brandes’ story highlights how essential tremors can greatly affect an individual’s life but also shows that there are treatments available that can alleviate these symptoms while minimizing side effects.

In conclusion, essential tremors are a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. However, thanks to advancements in medical technology like Focused Ultrasound procedures like those offered by Dr. Thomas Whitt at IU Health, individuals can seek hopeful solutions that may provide relief from their symptoms.

By Samantha Jones

As a dedicated content writer at, I bring a unique blend of creativity and precision to my work. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I strive to craft engaging and informative articles that captivate our readers. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am committed to delivering content that resonates with our audience and keeps them coming back for more. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the ever-evolving world of news and information together.

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