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FUS Subthalamotomy Studied in Asymmetric Parkinson Disease

MONDAY, Jan. 11, 2021 -- For patients with markedly asymmetric Parkinson disease, focused ultrasound subthalamotomy on the side opposite their main motor symptoms improves motor features, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Raúl Martínez-Fernández, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Hospital HM Puerta del Sur in Móstoles, Spain, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with markedly asymmetric Parkinson disease to undergo either focused ultrasound subthalamotomy on the side opposite their main motor signs or a sham procedure. Forty patients were enrolled, and 27 and 13 were assigned to active treatment and sham procedure (control), respectively.

The researchers found that the mean Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor score for the more affected body side decreased from 19.9 at baseline to 9.9 at four months and from 18.7 to 17.1 in the active-treatment and control groups, respectively (between-group difference, 8.1 points). In the active-treatment group, adverse events included dyskinesia in six patients in the off-medication state and six in the on-medication state, which persisted in three and one patients, respectively, at four months. Five patients in the active-treatment group also experienced weakness on the treated side, which persisted at four months in two patients.

"Longer-term and larger trials are needed to determine the role of focused ultrasound subthalamotomy in the management of Parkinson's disease and its effect as compared with other available treatments, including deep-brain stimulation," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Insightec. Several authors disclosed financial ties to Insightec and other medical technology and pharmaceutical companies.

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Posted: January 2021

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