Thalamotomy is a surgical procedure to treat tremor. It involves destroying part of the thalamus, an area of the brain that when damaged by MS can cause tremor. The surgery will usually only be considered if you have a very severe tremor that has not responded to other treatment.

A review of published research found that the surgery reduced tremor in almost all of those treated (94%) in the short-term. However, only around half (48%) showed improved function in the affected limb. One year after surgery, two thirds (64%) of those treated still showed reduced tremor.

The operation is associated with the risk of new symptoms, particularly speech, swallowing and balance disorders.

Deep brain stimulation is usually preferred as a treatment option, as it is potentially reversible.

Yap L, et al.
Stereotactic neurosurgery for disabling tremor in multiple sclerosis: thalamotomy or deep brain stimulation?
British Journal of Neurosurgery 2007;21(4):349-354.
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