A recent storyline on NBC’s new hit medical drama “New Amsterdam” featured the use of MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat a patient’s benign tumor near the base of the brain called a pituitary adenoma. In the episode, the adenoma caused complete blindness. However, after physicians were able to ablate – or destroy – the tumor with focused ultrasound, the patient regained her sight.
The treatment was dramatized for the show, so viewers saw a loose representation of a focused ultrasound treatment on the brain. However, in reality, focused ultrasound is FDA approved to treat two brain disorders: essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease. There are ongoing studies for a number of other neurological indications, including various types of brain tumors, both benign and malignant in adults and children.
In May 2018, ABC’s hospital drama "Grey’s Anatomy" also featured a focused ultrasound treatment.
Learn more on focused ultrasound research for brain disorders >
Watch the episode >
The focused ultrasound treatment begins at 28:30