Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early stage, noninvasive therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). 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 produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) of the desired target which treats OCD without incisions or radiation.
Current treatments for OCD include medications, surgery (radiofrequency or laser ablation, deep brain stimulation), or stereotactic radiosurgery (gamma knife, linear accelerator), all of which have limitations and side effects.
Focused ultrasound has the potential to provide an alternative to invasive surgery or radiosurgery via precise thermal ablation, or to augment drug therapy. It is noninvasive and has reduced risk for infection and blood clots. Focused ultrasound can also offer precise targeting to minimize damage to non-targeted healthy brain.
A clinical trial treating OCD patients in Toronto, Canada, has been completed.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound is not approved by any regulatory bodies worldwide as a treatment for OCD, nor is the treatment reimbursed by medical insurance providers.
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