This just in: The federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of focused ultrasound for tremor associated with Parkinson’s disease. This follows clinical trials led by our Jeff Elias, MD. A neurosurgeon, Dr. Elias previously led the international trial that prompted the FDA to approve focused ultrasound for essential tremor, the most common movement disorder.
The new approval means doctors can begin to offer focused ultrasound to treat tremor in Parkinson’s patients. Until now, the scalpel-free surgery has only been available for Parkinson’s tremor through clinical trials.
“This is another validation of a great technology,” Dr. Elias said. “Patients are attracted to the less invasive aspects of focused ultrasound. Now Parkinson’s patients for whom tremor is their primary disability have more treatment options than conventional cranial surgery.”
The procedure likely will not be covered by insurers at first. There’s usually a gap between FDA approval and insurance coverage kicking in. But it’s wonderful to see Dr. Elias’ research making it to the clinic.
Dr. Elias continues to test focused ultrasound for Parkinson’s symptoms other than tremor. We’ll keep you posted on that.