Motohiro Kawasaki, MD, PhD and his colleagues at Kochi Medical School in Japan have received $100,000 from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s Research Awards Program to study the safety and effectiveness of MR-guided focused ultrasound in alleviating pain and improving mobility for elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

According to Kawasaki, knee OA is one of the most common disabling arthritic conditions in the elderly. While surgery and a continuum of non-surgical treatments are available – physical therapy, medication, and injections – some patients continue to live with severe pain and disability because surgery is too risky or too frightening and because other treatments do not work for them. 


Expected to begin in March 2013, the single-arm clinical trial will enroll 20 patients who are at least 65 years old. Treatments will be performed with the InSightec ExAblate 2100 system. Study endpoints will include the incidence and severity of adverse events and changes in each patient’s pain rating and functional disability scores.

Study co-investigators are Masahiko Ikeuchi, MD, PhD, Toshikazu Tani, MD, PhD, Yasuhiro Ogawa, MD, PhD, Takahiro Ushida, MD, PhD.

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