New research approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that a new form of non-invasive brain surgery using a focused form of ultrasound will prove invaluable for those tackling Parkinson’s symptoms
Following testing at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, FDA approval has enabled the use of a focused ultrasound device to treat problems with mobility, rigidity and involuntary movements known as dyskinesias that are common in Parkinson’s.
Prior to FDA authorisation, available treatments for Parkinson’s were limited to drugs, which not all patients respond to, and invasive deep-brain surgeries.
Why is this so important?
“While this procedure does not provide a cure for Parkinson’s disease, there is now a less invasive option for patients suffering with medication-induced dyskinesia or severe motor deficits,” said UVA Health neurosurgeon Jeff Elias, MD. Being only one of 37 medical centres in the United States that are capable of providing this non-invasive procedure, UVA Health is offering pioneering research in the battle against Parkinson’s. By offering an entirely new and non-invasive treatment, focused ultrasound is opening new doors for Parkinson’s research and patients.
“While this procedure does not provide a cure for Parkinson’s disease, there is now a less invasive option for patients suffering with medication-induced dyskinesia or severe motor deficits”
Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Neal F. Kassell, MD addressed the FDA’s decision stating that, “the Foundation has long considered the brain to be a vanguard target for focused ultrasound, and this ruling by the FDA is a huge win for both providers and patients,”
The power and potential of Focused Ultrasound
Research into focused ultrasound to treat a variety of conditions has been going on for over a decade. While neurosurgeon Jeff Elias’ research has shown the capabilities of focused ultrasound in treating tremors, other UVA colleges are currently investigating the technology’s “potential to benefit a huge array of conditions, from breast cancer to epilepsy to opening the brain’s natural protective barrier to admit treatments never before possible.”
Due to the unique nature of this new treatment, it can be performed on an outpatient basis and without any incision, which will prove to be a popular and lifechanging choice for the Parkinson’s patients that can access it.