"This M.R.I.-guided focused ultrasound allows us to actually visualize the entire treatment, while it's being delivered," said Elias. "And we still have the ability to interact with a patient and refine and polish the procedure."
The procedure was unique not only in that it could safely and immediately deliver results, but also because it's reportedly pain-free and there is virtually no recovery time. Patients were required to stay overnight in the hospital for observation, but both were able to walk, talk and perform tasks that they weren't able to in years after they left the MRI machine.
For Highberg, who underwent the procedure in October, the surgery was a miracle.
"I was able to eat fruit without it falling off of the spoon, without it falling off the fork, I was able to drink without using both hands and without shaking," she said, amazed that she could complete such a simple task. " It was wonderful."
Walker's quality of life has done a complete 180 degree turn.
"I feel much better. I feel like I can do most anything I want to do, for 77 years old," she said. "I would do it again in a minute."
For Elias, a successful trial using focused ultrasound surgery is just the tip of the iceberg.
"We could send ultrasound waves to almost any organ of the body. So cancers, strokes, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy. They're really all potentially treatable with this type of technology," he said.
For the people undergoing the procedure, like Walker and Highberg, their lives are completely changed in that they can finally live normal lives. Highberg is now back to performing her passions -- quilting and cooking -- and is even thinking about picking up an old hobby -- playing the piano.
"After the surgery...I can do it, I can do it! I just wanna say I'm just, out there, I just can do it, You name it, I can do it," she said. "I felt like, alright I am back to normal, I can be a normal person again. Yeah, it was really cool."