PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — While in his mid-forties, Brian Osbourne, a medical technologist at Riverside Health, knew something was wrong. The recreational shooter was experiencing some of the same symptoms actor Michael J. Fox experienced — and later folded into his style of acting— that turned out to be the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. For Osbourne, the diagnosis was confirmed when he was 46 years old.
Time travel to September 19, 2022, where Osbourne, now 52 years old, was treated for Parkinson’s tremors at Riverside Regional Medical Center. The two-hour session seems like something from a science fiction movie.
Osbourne, a first for Riverside, was fitted with a halo for a journey that could change his life. Both sides of his body have Parkinson’s-related tremors. He was rolled into the MRI suite where a team started treatment on the right side of his body.
Riverside neurologist Dr. Jackson Salvant lead the mission called Focused Ultrasound.
The MRI machine pinpoints the area of the brain that produces tremors and the Ultrasound equipment attacks it.
“Where all of the ultrasound energy converges, it creates heat and by monitoring in the MRI, we can modulate the amount of heat and we can direct the particular area where that is being applied,” said Salvant a few weeks after the treatment in a Zoom interview.
Regina Mobley: Is there anything for the patient to be concerned about; you are essentially damaging a portion of the brain correct?
Dr. Jackson Salvant: Well, that is true and certainly there’s a tremendous amount of knowledge and technical skill that’s necessary to be able to do this safely.
Safe, effective, and fast, says Dr. Salvant.
“For him, there was no real recovery; there was no healing to speak of and the effects were immediate after the treatment,” said Dr. Salvant.
Dr. Salvant says after such procedures, both patients and their loved ones often are in tears as patients realize there is hope they can resume the activities they enjoy.
For Osbourne, that hobby is recreational shooting. In a few months, he will return to Riverside for treatment of the left side of his body, with hopes he can soon return to the shooting range.