It has been announced that the ExAblate® Neuro system, pioneered by InSightec Ltd and limited to investigational use only, has been used to treat 30 patients suffering from chronic neurological disorders in clinical investigations. The studies are being carried out by functional neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuroradiologists in Switzerland and the United States, to examine the safety and primary effectiveness of the system for treating Essential Tremor, Neuropathic Pain and Parkinson’s Disease.

Millions of individuals worldwide are affected by neurological disorders. These disorders may cause considerable loss of functionality, suffering, and medication dependency, negatively affecting the quality of life for patients as well as their caretakers. For individuals who do not respond to medication treatments, procedures which are either invasive or involve ionizing radiation include deep brain stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, radiosurgery. These procedures are connected with recognized risks: either high doses of ionizing radiation or high risk of complications and side effects.

ExAblate® Neuro is the first clinical technique to use MR guided focused ultrasound through an intact skull, merging focused ultrasound and real time MR guidance and control, to treat tissue deep in the brain without needing incisions, cutting or ionizing radiation.

Eyal Zadicario, VP of R&D and Director of the Neuro program at InSightec, explained:

“The concept of using focused ultrasound for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders has been recognized for many years, however, bast 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 for far.

ExAblate Neuro has demonstrated the ability to ablate targets deep in the brain with 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.”

The intra-operative image guidance built into system is designed to allow precision control and accurate delivery to the planned target with continuous real time feedback during the treatment.

Continuing investigations will assess the ability of this system to reduce the risk of complications and side-effects. This system may provide a treatment option for those patients where surgery is currently not an option, or for those who refuse an intervention of the brain.

InSightec Ltd., the global leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology is also planning to expand its Neuro investigation platform with further clinical studies for brain tumors, stroke and targeted drug delivery to the brain.

Written by Grace Rattue