MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound Specialist

CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine -  - Neurosurgery

CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine

Neurosurgery located in Lone Tree, CO & Englewood, CO

Combining the precision and detail of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with therapeutic ultrasound is an effective way of treating neurological tremors or shaking. The surgeons at CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine use MR-guided focused ultrasound to help patients who have Parkinson's disease reduce their tremors and regain control. The practice has nine locations in Colorado, including Lone Tree, Englewood, Castle Rock, Denver, Wheat Ridge, Colorado Springs, Parker, Yuma, and Lamar. To schedule a consultation, call the office nearest you.

MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound Q & A

What is MR-guided focused ultrasound?

MR-guided focused ultrasound is a treatment for certain neurologic conditions that combines two technologies:

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging

MRI provides the CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine team with highly detailed images of the inside of your body. MRI helps isolate the treatment area and assess your procedure's progress.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a type of energy that uses sound waves to penetrate your tissues. This technology is in regular use as a diagnostic tool, but ultrasound has therapeutic properties in a highly focused form.

Your provider can direct over a thousand ultrasound beams to a specific point under MRI guidance. The sound waves heat the tissues in the treatment area, destroying them without damaging healthy surrounding cells.

What is MR-guided focused ultrasound used to treat?

CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine uses MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat:

Essential tremor

MR-guided focused ultrasound can treat essential tremor in patients aged 22 or older whose condition isn't manageable using medication.

Tremor-dominant Parkinson's disease

MR-guided focused ultrasound can treat patients aged 30 or over whose main symptom of Parkinson's disease is tremor.

MR-guided focused ultrasound has FDA approval for treating these two conditions, but it could be useful for other problems as well, including:

  • Epileptic seizures
  • Other movement disorders
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumors
  • Neuropathic pain

There may also be some benefit in using MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat tremors associated with multiple sclerosis.

How does MR-guided focused ultrasound work?

In treating essential tremor and Parkinson's disease, the ultrasound beams target a specific area in your brain's thalamus. The thalamus is a relay station communicating sensory and motor signals that malfunctions when you have Parkinson's disease.

Heating the precise point in your thalamus responsible for your tremors creates a tiny lesion. The lesion disrupts the abnormal signals, relieving your tremors.

What happens when I have MR-guided focused ultrasound?

Before your procedure, it's necessary to shave your hair to optimize contact between the ultrasound and your head. You lie on a treatment table with your head in a frame to keep it steady and have a silicone membrane put on top of your head. Once your head is in position, the bed you're on slides into the scanning section of the MRI.

The CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine team takes some scans of your brain to identify the target area then transmits a series of ultrasound pulses that increase in intensity in stages. The treatment is likely to take 3-4 hours in total.

To learn more about MR-guided focused ultrasound and how it can improve your symptoms, call CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine to book an appointment today.