INSIGHTEC's focused ultrasound earns positive NICE guidance for treatment of essential tremor

Unilateral MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment-resistant essential tremor recognised by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

INSIGHTEC’s unilateral MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment-resistant essential tremor (ET) is the subject of new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

ET affects more than one million people in the UK and impacts their ability to perform everyday tasks due to uncontrollable shaking of their hands.

And Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is the first and only site in the UK with the Exablate Neuro technology to treat essential tremor.

To date 16 patients with ET have been treated at St Mary's Hospital by an expert, multidisciplinary team including Professor Wladyslaw Gedroyc, consultant radiologist; Dr Peter Bain, consultant neurologist; and Professor Dipankar Nandi, consultant neurosurgeon.

"Essential tremor patients treated at St Mary's have experienced very-substantial improvement in the severity of their tremor as well as their quality of life," said Professor Nandi.

"In addition, the safety profile is favourable with minor, often-temporary side effects experienced by this group."

During the treatment, ultrasound waves pass safely through the skull to ablate a tiny spot in the brain considered to be responsible for the tremor. The result is often an immediate improvement of the tremor in the treated hand.

Due to the incisionless nature of focused ultrasound, there is no risk of infection and patients recover quickly.

This is now the subject of newly-released NICE guidance, which notes the technology has ‘no major safety concerns’ but calls for increased evidence from wider-scale use of the system.

"The positive NICE guidance adds to the growing body of positive health technology determinations for incisionless brain surgery using INSIGHTEC's Exablate Neuro," said Maurice R Ferré, chief executive and chairman of the Board at INSIGHTEC.

"This is a critical step toward increased patient access to our technology around the globe.”

Click here to read the guidance in full.

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