The FDA has approved a focused ultrasound device to treat patients with essential tremor who haven’t responded to medication.
The ExAblate Neuro is the first such device approved to destroy tissue in the ventral intermediate nucleus of the brain’s thalamus, which controls some involuntary movements. Therapy using the device “could help [patients] avoid more invasive surgical treatments,” Carlos Peña, PhD, director of the division of neurological and physical medicine devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. “[T]his new device is not a cure but could help patients enjoy a better quality of life.”
Rebecca Voelker. Noninvasive Tremor Treatment. JAMA. 2016;316(9):918. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11385