FocusNeuro Tremor Treatment
FocusNeuro Non-surgical treatment for Tremors:
FocusNeuro is a specialist healthcare partnership between several established clinics and a range of movement disorder neurologists. Future Medical Imaging Group and Precision Brain Spine and Pain Centre provide expertise in neuroradiology, functional neurosurgery and movement disorder neurology, and a broad neurology network made up of specialist movement disorder neurologists across several states and from different clinics play a pivotal role in the delivery integrated healthcare to patients across Australia and overseas.
At the core of FocusNeuro is MRgFUS (or HIFU), a technological masterpiece that allows us to perform incisionless brain surgery to treat a range of neurological conditions, particularly tremor and Parkinson’s disease.
There are only two such systems in Australia- ours is located in Melbourne.
We aim to provide convenient and accessible specialist assessment for patients across Australia. To this end, we have collaborated with a number of high quality movement disorder neurologists around the country, and are able to offer FocusNeuro Clinics in:
- Victoria (multiple locations)
- Tasmania (Launceston and Hobart)
- Sydney (several locations)
- Queensland (to be confirmed)
- South Australia (to be confirmed)
- New Zealand (to be confirmed)
What Is MRI Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) at FocusNeuro?
Focused ultrasound (also known as MRgFUS or HIFU) is an innovative neurosurgical platform which delivers ultrasound energy deep in the brain with incredible precision. This deliberately creates a small scar or lesion with no incisions. By focussing the ultrasound beams on a specific region of the brain, abnormal activation pathways that cause tremor or other neurological problems can be disrupted, frequently alleviating or dramatically reducing those symptoms.
The main indications are essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and pain. MRgFUS is often an alternative to open brain surgery, including deep brain stimulation, and medications.
This procedure is carried out without anaesthetic or incisions. The neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist sit at a computer console in the MRI control room, using a computer and mouse instead of a surgical scalpel. The technique is known as Magnetic Resonance Guided Focussed Ultrasound (MRgFUS).
This incisionless treatment option has mainly been applied to essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinson's disease patients, and is also used in some centres to treat refractory chronic pain. The types of neurological conditions that can be treated with this advanced neurosurgery approach are growing.
Advanced hardware can produce ultrasound waves strong enough to penetrate the skull. State of the art software and computerised surgical navigation technology modify the delivery according to individual skull shape and thickness. Up to 1024 ultrasound waves precisely heat and ablate a deep brain target without the need for surgical incisions or manual manipulation of the brain. Because the anatomical targets are small and are often positioned amidst critical brain structures, treatment is guided by MR imaging. High resolution MRI provides detailed imaging, real-time thermal feedback and continuous treatment monitoring.
What Are The Benefits of Focused Ultrasound?
- It is non-invasive, with lower risks and a shorter recovery time
- It is carried out as a single treatment. Patients typically recover rapidly and quickly return to their usual daily activities (frequently within the next day or two)
- Compared to a radiofrequency ablation or deep brain stimulation, focused ultrasound is less risky, offering a reduced risk of infection, collateral damage, or bleeding
- Focused ultrasound offers rapid resolution of symptoms. Other technologies such as Gamma Knife radiosurgery have a significant delay before clinical improvement is seen, and deep brain stimulation requires regular programming of the electrical device, and either frequent recharging or further surgery to replace the battery when it expires
- In contrast to stereotactic radiosurgery lesioning, focused ultrasound does not use radiation, thereby avoiding the side effects of radiotherapy.
No anaesthetic is required, therefore patient with significant medical comorbidity are eligible for this treatment.
For more information, contact:
FMIG Patient Co-Ordinator
(03) 9818 9403