Study to test MRI-guided focussed ultrasound for Parkinson’s

This is the second clinical trial of MRI-guided focussed ultrasound for Parkinson’s disease. 

The procedure I performed whilst the patient is awake and lying in an MRI scanner with a head-immobolising frame, fitted with a transducer helmet. The ultrasonic energy is driven through the skull to the globus pallidus of the brain, and images collected during the procedure give doctors an instant temperature map of the area being treated. The patient can provide feedback throughout the procedure which allows doctors to monitor the immediate effects of treatment and adjust if needed.

Principle investigator, Howard M. Eisenberg, MD, professor and chair of neurosurgery at UMSOM spoke on the trial:

‘The goal of the focused ultrasound treatment is to both lessen the main symptoms of Parkinson's disease, which include tremors, rigidity and slow movement, as well as treat the dyskinesia that is a medication side effect, so that less medication is needed. The results of the pilot trial, so far, are very encouraging.’

Paul S. Fishman, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at UMSOM also commented:

‘For people with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders such as essential tremor, focused ultrasound is an appealing alternative to deep brain stimulation because it does not involve more invasive surgery.’

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