Tremor Gram – April 2024

Posted on April 3, 2024

Comparing ET with Parkinson’s Disease

Watch the IETF’s latest virtual education event, “ET vs Parkinson’s” now available online.

ET vs Parkinson's Education Event

In the presentation, Dr. Arif Dalvi, with the Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute in Florida, shares how neurologists evaluate and diagnose essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Estimates show that about 7 to 10 million people in the United States have ET, compared to about one million who have PD. Dr. Dalvi discusses the features of each condition. For example, the age of onset for ET is most often in the elderly, but it also can begin in childhood. For PD, the typical age of onset is between the ages of 55-65 and there is rarely a young onset.

He said almost every ET patient he sees is concerned they may have PD. Alternatively, almost every patient with PD asks him, “Are you sure I have Parkinson’s disease? Why is it not just essential tremor?” 

In the second half of the presentation, Dr. Dalvi shares video footage of patients to demonstrate different types of tremor.

Dr. Dalvi serves on the IETF Medical Advisory Board.

Scholarship Applications Due May 1

The deadline is approaching for applications for 2024 fall college scholarships from the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF).

scholarship-art

Each semester, the IETF awards up to six scholarships to current or college-bound students who have been diagnosed with essential tremor through its Catherine Rice Scholarship program. The $3,000 scholarships help support these students with their higher education goals.

To date, $85,000 in scholarship money has been awarded by the IETF. Scholarships are awarded based on academic success, community service, leadership skills and an essay submission. Applications are due May 1, 2024. More details are available on the IETF website.

Winners of the scholarships will be announced by July 15, 2024.

Wearable Technology Provides All-Day Tremor Relief in Studies

Fasikl, a Minnesota-based neuro-AI company, has announced the completion of two prospective studies for their Felix™ NeuroAI™ Wristband, a wearable technology specifically engineered to offer all-day relief from tremors for adults suffering from a condition known as essential tremor. Results from the studies simultaneously conducted in the United States (US) and China show that the device compares favorably against existing and emerging essential tremor therapies with minimal side effects and a high satisfaction rate among patients.

“In the pilot study conducted at our site, this device was straightforward to tune and use, effective in improving tasks in meaningful ways, and was tolerated well without significant side effects,” said Dr. Richard Dewey III, Co-Principal Investigator of the study at the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. “I believe this approach to reducing tremor is a desirable alternative to the pills and surgeries that are currently available.”

The Felix™ NeuroAI™ Wristband is equipped with Fasikl’s artificial intelligence platform, uniquely tailored for essential tremor. This advanced technology enables Felix™ to deliver closed-loop neurostimulation to adaptively optimize tremor relief for patients across a diverse range of activities and environments throughout the day. The system’s sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms continuously learn and adjust to the user’s specific needs, ensuring personalized and effective tremor management.

“ET is a debilitating neurological disorder. Unfortunately, the current treatment options are limited. The current medications often have side effects or are not beneficial, and many patients are not comfortable with invasive surgical procedures. This advancement has the potential to help millions of patients affected by ET.” said Dr. Kelly Lyons, Research Professor of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, President of the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF).

Based on the promising results from the current studies, Fasikl is now initiating a pivotal study of the Felix device, TRANQUIL, in both the US and China in Q1 2024. The TRANQUIL study is a prospective, randomized, sham-controlled, double-blinded, multi-center, and multi-region clinical trial. A total of 120 patients will be enrolled and followed up to one year. The primary endpoint of the study is a change in Tremor Research Group Essential Tremor Rating Assessment Scale (TETRAS) modified Activities of Daily Living (mADL) score from baseline pre-stimulation to 90 days.

Sign Up for a Clinical Trial

If you want to make a difference in the search for better treatments for essential tremor (ET), consider participating in a clinical trial. On our website, we keep an ongoing list of clinical trials recruiting participants.

Here are some of the most recent ones:

artwork for clinical trials
  • Praxis Precision Medicines Essential3 At-Home Phase 3 Research Study in Essential Tremor. The Essential3 study is an at-home research study evaluating an investigational drug, to see if it may improve your ability to complete everyday tasks, such as eating, drinking and dressing. The Essential3 study has been designed so that you may participate from the comfort of your own home. There is no travel or trips to the doctor’s office required. If you would like to learn more about this study and see if you qualify, visit www.essential3study.com.
  • Researchers in the Voice Lab at The University of Texas at Austin invite individuals with essential tremor to participate in a study of voice. The goals of the study are to understand how speakers control their voice and to develop therapy that improves vocal control. For more information contact the UT Voice Lab, (512) 232-4428, or email voicelab@austin.utexas.edu.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is recruiting patients for a study to help boost the understanding of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for essential tremor. Led by Dr. Albert Fenoy, associate professor of neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. With DBS, electrical stimulation is delivered to the brain through an electrode implanted deep into the VIM nucleus of the thalamus. The implanted electrode is connected to a neurostimulator which provides the appropriate amount of electrical stimulation to control tremor. However, over time its effectiveness can decrease due to ET progression. So the volume can be adjusted to compensate, but can lead to side effects such as worsening of balance, or ataxia in up to 20 percent of patients. This study will seek to discover if the stimulation is modulating something in the cerebellum which is causing this. A total of 72 patients are being recruited for the study. Each will undergo DBS for essential tremor and will be followed for two years. Learn more online.
Categories: Tremor Gram

7 thoughts on “Tremor Gram – April 2024

  1. Felix NeuroAI I am very much interested in for both my hands trial. I am 78 and petite
    and have trouble finding a fit for me. Do not want any surgical trials. Tried Steadi 2..too
    big and didn’t help at all. Please help me. it is affecting my way of life and has worsened over the years since I discover the problem around early 40’s. Thank you. I would
    appreciate any information or help you have to offer. This could be a wonderful help to enjoying a better life. Appreciate..Appreciate anything!!

  2. Can the felix device be used by me since I have a defibrillator-pacemaker. It might be too much stimulation for my heart. I haven’t been able to get a reasonable answer to that question.
    Strangely enough my last name is Felix.
    Please answer my question. My tremors are life altering.
    Thank you.

    1. There is a product link within the story where you can get more information directly from Fasikl. It is: https://fasikl.com/felix/The

      The Felix is not yet for sale but we will learn more once it is — including who should or should not use it depending on other health conditions, surgical options or medications, etc. The second phase of clinical trials will be conducted later this year. The next step after that will be gaining FDA approval of the product.

      The IETF tries to keep our ET community up-to-date on the progress being made in the area of devices, medications, etc., to help people manage essential tremor, which is why we shared this story. Also, there may be opportunities to participate in the next clinical trial in different areas of the country. If this happens, we will share that information as well.

  3. I would like to sign up for the Felix wristband study. ET is causing difficulties in my life more and more, as time goes by. I am 72 years old and am currently taking meds for this problem. This gives me partial relief, but not enough. Also, I am trying to eliminate as many of my meds as I can because my balance and my poor brain are being affected.

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