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A Swiss Team Uses Transcranial MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound to Treat Patients With Functional Brain Disorders
Date:7/14/2009

scranial MRgFUS provides a safe and effective way to non-invasively ablate tissue deep within the brain," said Ernst Martin, M.D., Director of the Magnetic Resonance Center at the University Children's Hospital Zurich. "While we need to monitor these patients further, we are very encouraged by the results to date and look forward to continuing our research. A non-invasive treatment that reduces the risk of infection and bleeding will fill an unmet need for many patients who currently have run out of treatment options or are unwilling to undergo invasive brain surgery because of the risks associated with it."

One patient in the study suffered nerve damage from a spinal tumor that led to severe pain and cramps in his right arm. The pain persisted for years and the patient ultimately reported depression and suicidal thoughts because of his condition. Immediately after receiving transcranial MRgFUS treatment on his brain, he reported that the pain had disappeared. A short time later he was able to resume normal activities that his neuropathic pain had prevented him from doing, such as gardening and outings in the country with his family.

The Swiss research team is planning a larger study for functional brain disorders and expands its clinical research to movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and tremor, and to other functional neurological disorders later this year. Additional sites in North America are also expected to initiate clinical research programs in functional brain disorders with transcranial MRgFUS later this year.

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ExAblate is the first system to use the MR guided focused ultrasound technology that combines MRI - to visualize the body anatomy, plan the treatment and monitor treatment outcome in real time - and high intensity focused ultrasound to target brain tissue non-invasively. MR thermometry allows the physician to control and adjust the t
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SOURCE InSightec Ltd.
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