NEJM: Minimal Invasive procedure reduces symptoms in Parkinson's disease over 3 months!
28 Feb 2023 • According to a recent study, unilateral pallidal ultrasonic ablation, a minimally invasive surgery significantly improved mobility, tremors, and other physical symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease during a three-month period. On February 23, 2023, the study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) were in charge of the clinical trial. It involved 94 Parkinson's disease patients who were either given a placebo surgery or a focused ultrasound to ablate a specific area on one side of the brain. After three months of follow-up, close to 70% of patients in the treatment group were considered successful treatment responders, as opposed to 32% in the control group who underwent an inert procedure without targeted ultrasound. A year after receiving the focused ultrasound treatment, two-thirds of those who had an initial positive reaction did so again. Focused ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that can be carried out without anaesthetic or a hospital stay. No incision is involved, meaning no risk of a serious infection or brain bleeding. Using a transducer helmet, patients lie in an MRI scanner while remaining completely conscious. The globus pallidus, a deep brain region that aids in the regulation of regular voluntary movement, is the target of ultrasonic energy that is directed through the skull. The device, called Exablate Neuro, was approved over a year ago by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat advanced Parkinson's disease on one side of the brain. The FDA approval was based on findings from the UMSOM clinical trial published today.
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