We are pleased to announce we have a new partner in our efforts to advance the use of focused ultrasound in the treatment of movement disorders. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has awarded the Focused Ultrasound Foundation a $600,000 grant to help fund a pilot study to determine the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of MR-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease.
This relationship with the MJFF is a tremendous milestone for the Foundation as it further validates our approach of collaborating with disease-specific foundations. Partnerships such as this enable us to achieve more with our financial and intellectual resources and to significantly expand the number of patients who benefit from our work.
The dyskinesia study, designed to treat 15 patients, follows on two clinical trials supported by the Foundation investigating the use of focused ultrasound to treat essential tremor (ET) and Parkinsonian tremor. The pilot ET study achieved positive results that have led to a larger pivotal trial for FDA regulatory approval that will begin soon.
The Parkinson's dyskinesia trial will be the first to target a new location within the brain, the globus pallidus. If successful, the study could offer new hope to certain patients with Parkinson's disease who become disabled by dyskinesia and who have failed medical therapy and choose not to have a traditional surgical treatment.
As this new study moves toward implementation, we would also like to acknowledge the role of the Foundation's Movement Disorders Steering Committee. We are also deeply appreciative of the contribution made by University of Virginia neurosurgeon Dr. W. Jeffrey Elias, architect of the Foundation's movement disorders trials.
We look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.
Neal F. Kassell, MD
Chairman, Focused Ultrasound Foundation