InSightec Ltd., the global leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology, announced today that its investigational ExAblate(R) Neuro system has been used in clinical studies to treat 30 patients suffering from chronic neurological disorders. The clinical trials are being conducted by functional neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuroradiologists in Switzerland, and the US to evaluate the safety and initial efficacy of the system for treating Essential Tremor, Neuropathic Pain and Parkinson's Disease. The system is limited to investigational use only.
Neurological disorders affect millions of people worldwide and may cause significant loss of functionality, suffering, and medication dependency, negatively affecting the quality of life of patients and their caretakers. For patients who do not respond to drug treatments, procedures include deep brain stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, radiosurgery which are either invasive or involve ionizing radiation. These are associated with recognized risks: either high doses of ionizing radiation or high risk of complications and side effects.
ExAblate(R) Neuro, pioneered by InSightec, is the first clinical system to use MR guided focused ultrasound through an intact skull, combining focused ultrasound and real time MR guidance and control, to treat tissue deep in the brain without incisions or cutting or ionizing radiation.
"The concept of using focused ultrasound for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders has been recognized for many years, however, vast technical barriers had to be overcome to enable this modality to become a reality. We have invested tremendous technological and clinical efforts to be able to reach this point and are very encouraged by the clinical results so far", said Eyal Zadicario, VP of R&D and Director of the Neuro program at InSightec.
"ExAblate Neuro has demonstrated the ability to ablate targets deep in the brain with high precision. The initial results have been encouraging. This gives us hope that this treatment alternative could in the future become a significant addition to the physicians' armamentarium in treating functional brain diseases." he continued.
The intra-operative image guidance built into ExAblate Neuro is designed to allow precision control and accurate delivery to the planned target with continuous real time feedback throughout the treatment.
Ongoing clinical research will evaluate the ability of this technology to reduce the risk of complications and side-effects. It may provide a treatment option for those individuals where surgery is currently not an option, or refuse an intervention of the brain.