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Delray Medical Center in Florida treats Alzheimer's with focused ultrasound in 'groundbreaking' trial

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 23, 2023
Alzheimers/Neurology Ultrasound
Delray Medical Center has become the first provider in Florida to treat an Alzheimer's patient in focused ultrasound trial. (Photo courtesy of Delray Medical Center)
Delray Medical Center has become the first hospital in Florida to use focused ultrasound to treat an Alzheimer’s disease patient, administering the first of three treatments on February 15.

Under the guidance of MR imaging, focused ultrasound creates a temporary opening in the blood-brain barrier for providers to distribute drugs that can break down protein buildup, an indication of the disease.

The FDA-approved ExAblate Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Disruption for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease clinical trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of this procedure, using Insightec’s ExAblate Model 4000 Type 2.0 system. The solution has proved effective for treating Parkinson's disease and essential tremor.

The study is described as “groundbreaking” and is part of Florida’s Brain State initiative, a program by Insightec to increase Alzheimer’s research in the state, which has the second highest incidence rate in the country, with an estimated 580,000 cases. It is being conducted in collaboration with Florida Atlantic University’s Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention.

"The study will help determine whether the use of this noninvasive focused ultrasound technology can lead to cognitive improvement in patients with Alzheimer's disease,” said Dr. Lloyd Zucker, medical director of neurosurgery at Delray Medical Center, in a statement.

Conducted at up to eight sites in the U.S., patients will receive three focused ultrasound treatments, two weeks apart, and then be followed for five years after the final procedure.

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