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Minimally Invasive Procedure May Relieve Parkinson's Disease Tremors.

A procedure that applies pulses of focused ultrasound to the brain is safe and effective for reducing tremors and improving quality of life in people with essential tremor or Parkinson's disease (PD) tremor. A study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America found that magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy gives relief to the opposite side of the body. That means treating the right side of the brain helps relieve tremors on the left side of the body and vice versa. The procedure requires no incision, and is performed by sending focused beams of sound energy to heat and destroy small parts of the thalamus, a structure in the brain that relays motor and sensory signals to the cerebral cortex, the main part of the brain where information processing occurs. The procedure is also viewed as safer than deep brain stimulation, which is more intrusive and carries risks of bleeding and other complications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved clinical use of MRgFUS about three years ago, though it is still not widely performed, in part because there are few specialized centers equipped with the necessary technology. Researchers are hoping to use their findings to explore other ways of treating the thalamus to improve tremors and other PD symptoms.

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Title Annotation:NEWS BRIEFS
Publication:Mind, Mood & Memory
Date:Jan 30, 2020
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