By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

October 30, 2018 -- Clinicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center have treated the first patient in the U.S. for neuropathic leg pain using MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS), the university said. The treatment is part of a pilot study.

Neuropathic pain can be difficult to treat because it doesn't respond well to common pain medications or even other treatments such as nerve blocks, implantable devices, or physical therapy, according to principal investigator and diagnostic radiologist Dr. Dherraj Gandhi.

MRgFUS offers a new treatment option that does not include radiation or surgery, Gandhi and colleagues wrote.

The technology was used on a patient diagnosed with neuropathic pain due to cerebral dysrhythmia. Gandhi's team directed ultrasound waves through the patient's skin and skull to target the brain's message relay center, the central lateral nucleus of the thalamus. The procedure successfully relieved the patient's neuropathic pain, according to the researchers.

The clinical trial is currently recruiting patients, the university said.


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