Focused ultrasound trial for depression gets underway

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

September 29, 2015 -- A team from Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, has used MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) to treat a patient with depression.

The patient is the first to be treated in a pilot clinical study that will assess the feasibility of MR-guided focused ultrasound to noninvasively destroy the anterior limb of the internal capsule in the brain. That volume of tissue is a well-established target for treating severe depression, according to trial sponsor Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

The trial, which is being led by neurosurgeon Dr. Jin Woo Chang, will include 10 patients with severe depression resistant to medication or electroconvulsive therapy. All patients will be treated with focused ultrasound using the ExAblate Neuro system (InSightec), and outcomes will be measured with clinical exams and MRI, as well as psychological assessments during a six-month follow-up period, the foundation said.


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