A Canadian was given a new lease on life by an Israeli company whose technology helped free him of a tremor disorder.
Canada’s National Post reports that Tony Lightfoot suffered from “essential tremors” movement disorder, which meant his arms jolted violently up and down when he held them outstretched, his finger waved about wildly as he tried touching his nose and he couldn’t even sign his name to a piece of paper.
At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, however, Mr. Lightfoot underwent a new “scalpel-free” brain treatment that involves firing bursts of ultrasound waves at the misbehaving neurons causing his condition.
Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, a Finnish-born inventor, developed the ultrasound device, and Israel’s InSightec Ltd manufactured it. It costs more than $2 million and is still in a trial phase as doctors determine whether it is safer and more effective than earlier treatments.
According to the Post: “Sunnybrook doctors hope the MRI-guided ultrasound technique could eventually be applied to a host of other problems, from brain tumors to Parkinson’s, avoiding the risk of infection and other complications of traditional surgery. The technology might even help diseases like Alzheimer’s better respond to medication by opening up the blood-brain barrier that prevents most drugs from being absorbed into the organ.”
For Mr. Lightfoot, who came out of surgery symptom-free, its effectiveness is clear: “I can’t believe it,” he told the National Post. “I never, never thought it would happen to me. It’s just marvelous.”