Non-invasive ultrasound therapies could provide solutions for unmet clinical needs
Posted on 17/05/2017
A fascinating video, kindly shared with us by Professor Wladyslaw Gedroyc, Consultant Radiologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, demonstrates the ground-breaking potential of non-invasive ultrasound therapies.
In this video a patient with Essential Tremor (a nerve disorder where the patient suffers from uncontrollable shaking) receives focused ultrasound therapy from specialists at St Mary’s Hospital in London. Before the treatment takes place the patient is unable to lift and drink from a cup of water without spillage, but immediately after receiving ultrasound therapy his tremor is almost imperceivable, and he later describes how this therapy has enabled him to once again enjoy a normal life.
In this particular example of focused ultrasound therapy a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is used to very precisely guide beams of ultrasound waves into the patient’s brain, targeting the area called the nucleus ventralis intermedius. The ultrasound waves are initially applied at low power, with reversible effects, in order to confirm that the beam is targeting the correct area of the brain and producing the desired reduction in tremor. The patient’s condition and the degree of tremor is checked at regular intervals throughout the treatment and once the clinicians establish that the treatment is having the desired affect they are able to increase the power levels to produce a permanent lesion in an a very precise area.
The 16 minute video can be viewed on vimeo at https://vimeo.com/198166873 (password Wady).
This type of innovative new therapy is the subject of a meeting being hosted by KTN in collaboration with Kings College London, St Marys Hospital, The Institute of Cancer Research and the EPSRC funded ThUNDDAR network, on 13th June in London. The event will focus on new unmet clinical needs, latest developments in the regulatory environment, and clinical adoption of ultrasound therapies. The programme is designed to bring together experts in the field from the leading organisations to review and learn about the latest developments, to discuss barriers to innovations, commercialisations and particularly clinical adoption.