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 retinal injury. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound 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 several therapeutic effects that are being evaluated. One mechanism is to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier, which can be used to allow genetic material or therapeutic agents to enter the region. A second mechanism is using focused ultrasound for neuromodulation of the retinal ganglion cells. 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 retinal injury are primarily surgical.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of retinal injury.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for retinal injury is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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