MRI-guided HIFU improves treatment of essential tremor, Parkinson’s

MRI-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has improved treatment of essential tremor and Parkinson's disease, according to the Spanish Society of Medical Radiology (SERAM).

HIFU offers a viable treatment alternative to surgery -- which can be ineffective in 50% of essential tremor cases, the society said.

“[For both essential tremor and Parkinson's disease], the use of deep brain stimulation is an important option and practically the only one that existed until a few years ago,” said Dr. Manuel Ramos of the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Córdoba in a statement released by the society. “The point is that this surgical technique, in addition to the risks inherent to all surgery, can be performed on a relatively limited number of patients. Treatment with HIFU, on the other hand, is extensive to a larger population and the number of patients that can be treated is greater than in the case of surgery.”

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