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Platos_Cave.jpg3-D virtual visualization of the brain

A new 3-D visualization system has been implemented at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, USA. The system, called Plato´s Cave, projects 3-D views of the patient onto a screen, giving the surgeon a stereoscopic visualization of the anatomy.

“This technology enables us to combine data from CT, MRI and PET scans and channel them into a single computer to generate one clear, comprehensive image,” said Dr. E. Brian Butler, Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Methodist and creator of “Plato’s Cave.”


HIFUTranscranial MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound

A press release from The Magnetic Resonance Center of the University Children's Hospital Zurich reports that ten patients have been treated by means of transcranial high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). HIFU has been used for the treatment of uterine fibroids and tumors of the prostate gland for some years. However, its application to the brain through the intact skull for non-invasive neurosurgery was not possible until recently.

The whole surgical procedure is planned and monitored in real time by MRI. The HIFU beams produced by 1024 transducers are transferred through the intact skull of the patient into the brain and concentrated onto a focus of 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter. Thus, sharply defined targets deep inside the brain are coagulated by heating them up to a focal temperature of 60 degrees Celsius. The whole surgical procedure lasts several hours and is performed without anaesthesia. Patients are awake and fully conscious during the intervention.

Read more – Press release

BrainGate2Clinical trial of the BrainGate2 Neural Interface System has started

BrainGate reports that their pilot clinical trial of the BrainGate2 Neural Interface System now has started, and is now recruiting participants. The study is called ´BrainGate2: Feasibility Study of an Intracortical Neural Interface System for Persons With Tetraplegia´ and the purpose is to obtain preliminary device safety information and demonstrate proof of principle (feasibility of efficacy) of the ability of people with tetraplegia to control a computer cursor and other assistive devices with their thoughts.

The 4x4 mm BrainGate2 sensor is placed into the motor cortex, connected to a percutaneous pedestal and neural recordings are made at least weekly for a year or more. Inclusion criterias are clinical diagnosis of spinal cord injury, brainstem stroke, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or other motor neuron disorders, complete or incomplete tetraplegia (quadriplegia) and the participants must live within a two-hour drive of the Study site (Massachusetts General Hospital, USA).



LibraOngoing US Trial of Libra Deep Brain Stimulation System for Parkinson's disease

St. Jude Medical has announced that they included 136 patients in an ongoing randomized, controlled study to evaluate the St. Jude Medical Libra and LibraXP™ DBS systems, to determine the devices’ safety and effectiveness in controlling many of the motor symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s disease. The patients have had the disease for more than five years and the symptoms were insufficiently controlled with medication alone.


Read more on Medgadget.com 

BryanBRYAN Cervical Disc Gets FDA Approval

BRYAN® Cervical Disc, a product of Medtronic Sofamor Danek, has been approved by the FDA. The cervikal disc implant is composed of a polyurethane and titanium discs designed to fit between adjacent vertebral bodies in the neck, is indicated "in skeletally mature patients for reconstruction of the disc from C3-C7 following single-level discectomy for intractable radiculopathy and/or myelopathy," according to the FDA.

What will it accomplish? The device should help stabilize the operated spinal level. Unlike a fusion procedure, the BRYAN® Cervical Disc is designed to allow motion at the operated spinal level. The effects of the diseased disc removal should include pain relief and improved function.


Read more on Medgaget.com.

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