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Mom with Parkinson’s was scared to be in public. A new treatment changed everything

After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at 35, Melanie Carlson experienced painful, disruptive body movements. So she underwent a cutting-edge edge brain surgery.

In 2017, Melanie Carlson, then 35, received a shocking diagnosis: Parkinson’s disease. Soon after, she developed tremors and hyperkinetic, or “jerking and twisting,” limb movements, she recalls.

“It’s a painful movement disorder,” Carlson, 41, of Washington D.C., tells “It just kept getting worse and worse to where I have a little roller board, like you have in kindergarten, and I was using that to scoot around my house. I was crawling. I was falling all the time.”

Carlson stopped leaving her house because the hyperkinetic movement became so unpredictable. Frustrated, she started looking online for possible solutions and found a new procedure that can reduce or eliminate tremors and hyperkinetic movement. Last summer, she underwent focused ultrasound ablation.

“I can only speak for myself, but it was like this immediate relaxation,” she says. “You’re so used to your body being so tense and hyperkinetic, and I walked right out of there.”

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