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

Rick Brandes has been struggling with essential tremors for three decades, which has greatly affected his confidence. Essential tremors is a genetic disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking in specific muscle groups. The impact of this condition goes beyond physical symptoms, as it also affects individuals’ social lives. Brandes shared how he felt embarrassed about spilling food or drinks in public, leading to situations where he avoided certain activities and missed out on opportunities to connect with others.

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 was 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. 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.

The success of Dr Whitt’s Focused Ultrasound procedure brings hope to many individuals living with essential tremors who are seeking relief from their condition without resorting to invasive treatments or surgeries that may have negative side effects.

In conclusion, Rick Brandes’ journey shows us that even though essential tremors can have a significant impact on one’s life, there are treatments available that can help alleviate symptoms while minimizing side effects. With newfound confidence and stability in their hands, individuals living with essential tremors can pursue their passions and live fulfilling lives without hindrance.

Dr Whitt’s Focused Ultrasound procedure is just one example of how medical technology continues to evolve and improve our understanding of complex conditions such as essential tremors. As we continue to see more advancements in medical technology and treatments for various conditions, we can look forward to a future where individuals have more options for managing chronic illnesses and regaining their independence and quality of life.

By Samantha Johnson

As a content writer at, I craft engaging and informative articles that aim to captivate readers and provide them with valuable insights. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, I thoroughly enjoy delving into diverse topics, conducting research, and producing compelling content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news pieces to in-depth features, I strive to deliver content that is both accurate and engaging, constantly seeking to bring fresh perspectives to our readers. Collaborating with a talented team of editors and journalists, I am committed to maintaining the high standards of journalism upheld by our publication.

Leave a Reply