MEMPHIS, Tenn. and MUNICH, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MRI Interventions, Inc. (OTCBB:MRIC) and Brainlab AG announced today that Prof. Stephan Chabardes at Universite Joseph Fourier (UJF) Hospital in Grenoble, France has performed the first two cases in Europe with the ClearPoint ® Neuro Intervention System. Prof. Chabardes used the ClearPoint system to assist with the implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) leads in two patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. In addition to being the first ClearPoint commercial cases in Europe, the cases carried the historical significance of being performed at the location where DBS treatment was originally developed.
DBS therapy is a reversible and adjustable treatment for a variety of neurological disorders by which an electronic lead is placed at a targeted location inside the brain and connected to a pulse generator that is implanted under the skin in the patient's chest area. The pulse generator is set to a customized frequency, and it delivers small electrical pulses to the target area of the brain. The device, which some refer to as a "pacemaker for the brain," is used to suppress disabling symptoms associated with the particular neurological disorder being treated. Since its inception 25 years ago, DBS has become an important and established treatment that has improved the quality of life for over 80,000 people.
The traditional surgical technique for implanting DBS leads has been performed without intra-procedural visualization, meaning that the surgeon cannot see the neurological target and surgical devices inside the brain while the procedure is being performed. By contrast, the next generation ClearPoint system provides surgeons with direct, real-time visualization of the patient's anatomy and the surgical devices throughout the procedure. Using the ClearPoint system, the surgeon sees and selects the neurological target, aims the ClearPoint targeting device, and watches via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the surgical tool is advanced to the target.