A major milestone in the evolution of the field of focused ultrasound has been achieved. The first treatment in a 20-patient pilot study assessing the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of MR-guided focused ultrasound for dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease was successfully performed in Korea. This groundbreaking study is being funded in partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
This work is the first to use focused ultrasound on a new target within the brain, the globus pallidus. At this time, focused ultrasound is only being assessed to treat one side of the brain, so it will affect dyskinesia unilaterally. If successful, the study could offer an alternative approach for certain patients with Parkinson’s disease who become disabled by dyskinesia, have failed medical therapy, and choose not to have a traditional invasive surgical treatment.
Read more about this first treatment, which was conducted by Dr. Jin Woo Chang, Director of the Brain Research Institute at Yonsei University’s Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea. The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s “FoxFeed” blog post also includes information about the study and an explanation of why Parkinson’s patients get dyskinesia.
Practical Neurology Cover Story on Focused Ultrasound
The “Cover Focus” story in the December 2013 issue of Practical Neurology features an interview with University of Virginia neurologist Dr. Binit B. Shah about focused ultrasound’s potential to provide a noninvasive, non-pharmacologic option to treat the tremor of Parkinson’s disease.
The article does an excellent job of communicating the potential benefits of focused ultrasound for this indication by discussing the technology, the data, and the ideal patient.