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Medisracenter

Parkinson treatment

A breakthrough treatment for Parkinson's patients - Ultrasound Focused

Innovative treatment, without surgery, radiation or electromagnetic radiation and without implantation of electrodes, pacemakers or other implanted devices.

For those who sufferfrom tremor caused by primary tremor disease or Parkinson's disease.

The treatment is performed by a team of experienced neurological surgeons who have underwent training and specialization in the treatment of Parkinson's disease in the United States.

How does fUS work?

This is a treatment by focused and controlled heating of the brain tissue in a deep area of ​​the brain located in the thalamus. The heating is done by transmitting high-frequency acoustic (sound) powerful energy (Ultrasound). Using special energy algorithms it can penetrate the skull and reach the target at a resolution of one millimeter without any injuryto surrounding healthy tissues. The energy comes from more than 1000 transducers spread across the entire skull and concentrateson one point working as a magnifying glass.

The treatment is performed by a sophisticated ultrasound system at the MRI Center for Advanced Technologies at the Israeli Medical Center.

What is the success rate of fUS?

A clinical trial conducted in the USA, The University of Virginia, shows impressive results. Functional disability caused by tremor was improved by 92%.

Patients who could barely hold a pencil or hold it on the paper before the treatment were able to write clearly after the treatment.

Who is the treatment for?

Treatment with fUS may be an appropriate solution for someone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and tremor in one hand still interferes with daily functioning despite of the best drug treatment. Other symptoms of disease are not supposed to be improved after fUS.

However, the treatment is not suitable for everyone. For example, patients who cannot undergo MRI because of claustrophobia, patients with brain tumors or cerebral infarction (stroke), patients with a hematologic disorders of hypercoagulation or bleeding or abnormal skull bone density measurements inhead CT scan.

What happens before the treatment?

In the first stage, every patient who is candidate for the treatment undergoes a professional assessment at the Institute for motor disorders in the Medical Center. At an assessment conductedduring a long stay (in the Day Care Center) the patient is examined by a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, a nurse and a psychologist. As the treatment requires brain surgery an assessment by a psychiatrist is also necessary. Later on the patient has head CT andMRI scan.

What happens during the treatment?

The patient will be hospitalized the day before the operation and on the day of the surgery the patient's hair will be removed by the surgeon.

During the treatment, which is done only on one side of the brain, the patient lies in MRI device with a helmet-like system that includes apowerful multi-channel ultrasound transducer, whose function is to destroy designated tissues by heating.

The patient remains awake during the whole treatment and if necessary receives a sedative, antiemetic drug or anesthesia. The interaction with the surgeons enables a real-time assessment of the efficacy of the treatment. MRI images are received continuously and in real time during the treatment to make sure that it is successful. To insure the safety of the treatment for the patient his/her body temperature is monitored with accuracy of one tenth of the degree. 

What happens after the treatment ?

At the end of the procedure, which is done only on one side of the brain and affects the tremor on the other side of the body, the patient will feel immediate and significant improvement and even disappearance of the tremor in the treated hand.
He/shewill be discharged from the hospital within a day or two, with no need to remove stitches or bandages.

The efficiency is immediate and significant until the tremor in the hand is completely gone.

The treatment is performed at the Center for Advanced Technologies with the system developed in Israel. Focused ultrasound is approved by FDA, but is still available only in very few institutions in the US. The Medical Center in Israel offers ET patients this advanced treatment with its many advantageswith no risk of infection and no surgery.

As Dr. Israeli-Korn said, “It’s quite futuristic and amazing to see.” Furthermore, fUS is guided by MRI. Both of these techniques emit no radiation, unlike CT scans and X-rays. This alsoreduces the risk to the patient. There is no age limit for fUS therapy. Each patient is assessed individually. While fUS may not be appropriate for every patient, this novel treatment offers hope for millions afflicted by essential tremors.