Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a rapidly evolving, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with different types of headaches, including chronic migraine headaches. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How It Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound can cause several different effects that can be helpful.
In clinical use, there has been a single case report where thermal ablation of the nerve pathways have been ablated with good success.
In preclinical models, use of FUS neuromodulation of the occipital nerves that has reduced the severity of headaches.
While significant preclinical work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of headaches include medication, many of which have side effects or are only partly effective. Possible advantages are:
- Focused ultrasound is non-invasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for treatment of headaches.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for headaches is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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