The treatment, approved by the FDA, uses Insightec’s high-intensity focused ultrasound technology guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for patients living with essential tremor or Parkinson’s-related tremor that is not adequately responding to medication. The procedure is performed in a single session in an outpatient imaging center and can take between two and three hours.
“Most patients will experience immediate improvement of tremor caused by essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease,” says Emory Healthcare neurosurgeon Robert E. Gross, MD, PhD, the MBNA Bowman Chair in Neurosurgery and professor and vice chair, Emory University Department of Neurosurgery.
“This one-time procedure is presently done on one side only, and the incisionless approach reduces discomfort and the risk of infection and other complications.”
During the procedure at Emory, a neurosurgeon sits in a control room and uses a computer mouse, instead of a scalpel, to control advanced software and deliver over one thousand ultrasound beams across the patient’s skull. Guided by an MRI, the physician is able to precisely ablate deep brain targets, thus creating a lesion in the thalamus.
Gross and an interdisciplinary team of Emory specialists in neurology, neurophysiology and radiology have recently completed the MRI-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound case in a 75-year-old patient with essential tremor uncontrolled by medications.