The Clinical Research Forum, an organization created to tackle the complex challenges facing clinical research at academic health centers, has chosen the pioneering use of focused ultrasound to treat essential tremor as one of the “Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements of 2016.”
The prestigious award was presented to University of Virginia neurosurgeon Jeff Elias, MD, and University of Maryland neurologist Paul Fishman, MD, PhD, on April 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
“Our whole team is very excited to receive such a prestigious award. We believe that this relatively new technology will improve the lives of many patients with essential tremor and hopefully other central nervous system diseases in the future,” Elias said. “Essential tremor beautifully demonstrates the potential of this technology, where such a dramatic improvement in the patient’s condition occurs during the procedure.”
Elias was the principal investigator of the clinical trial – funded by the Foundation in partnership with the BIRD Foundation and Insightec – that enrolled 76 patients with severe tremor who had not responded to medication. Tremor was reduced by half after three months and by 40 percent after a year, according to the results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.