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Ultrasound Homepage

Could a Band-Aid-sized $100 ultrasound transducer be coming soon? Researchers are optimistic, as image quality matches or exceeds conventional systems

Philips to manage medical imaging equipment for Aussie providers for 20 years First-of-its-kind partnership in Australia and ASEAN Pacific region

Purdue research groups enhancing medical imaging with optical innovations Developing optical ultrasound and 3D printed, optical phantoms

Olympus enters separate collabs on endoscopic ultrasound and 3D surgery Partners with Hitachi Healthcare Americas and FlexDex

Philips unveils new ultrasounds for general and interventional cardiology Equipped with anatomical intelligence

China hits back with new tariffs affecting medical imaging equipment More than 5,000 items affected, including X-ray tubes and gamma-ray equipment

FDA greenlights focused ultrasound trial for Alzheimer's treatment Involves temporarily opening the blood-brain barrier

Could AI and 3D printing be the future of OB/GYN ultrasound? Few specialities are equally poised to embrace these cutting edge tools

Healcerion gets FDA nod for wireless ultrasound SONON 300L is 1/10th the cost of traditional systems

All-optical ultrasound could pave way for combined MR-ultrasound imaging Three orders of magnitude faster than current optical systems

Dr. Jeff Elias has research underway
to find additional applications

Study finds focused ultrasound can reduce Parkinson's tremor

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
In a new study published in JAMA Neurology, focused ultrasound showed promise for reducing tremor caused by Parkinson’s disease.

“For a subset of Parkinson's patients afflicted with primarily tremor that is medication resistant, this could be a very good option, but it would require FDA approval like essential tremor,” Dr. Jeff Elias, lead researcher and professor of neurological surgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, told HCB News.

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In July 2016, InSightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound system was FDA-cleared to treat essential tremor for patients who have not responded to medication. Focused ultrasound technology is also approved to treat prostate cancer and uterine fibroids.

The industry is on a quest to find new applications for focused ultrasound. Another team at UVA recently opened a trial investigating the potential use of focused ultrasound in combination with immunotherapy for breast cancer.

For the Parkinson’s tremor study, 27 patients with the condition were recruited by a team of researchers at UVA and the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. Twenty were randomly assigned focused ultrasound treatment and the rest received a fake procedure to account for potential placebo effects.

Patients from both groups had tremor that didn’t respond to medical treatment and all continued to take their existing Parkinson’s medication. After the study, patients in the control group were offered the opportunity to undergo the real procedure.

The team found that those who received the focused ultrasound procedure experienced a 62 percent median improvement in their hand tremor three months later. Those in the control group also improved, but to a lesser degree, which suggests some placebo effect.

The researchers cautioned that a large, multicenter study is needed in order to confirm the effectiveness of focused ultrasound treatment for Parkinson’s tremor. But even if future research confirms this, it’s unlikely that it will become the standard for treating the condition, because tremor is associated with other disabling symptoms like bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait issues, said Elias.

UVA also recently received FDA approval for a pilot study investigating the use of focused ultrasound to treat trigeminal neuropathic pain and they currently have a trial open to treat seizures/epilepsy caused by hamartomas.

Ultrasound Homepage


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