IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MRI Interventions, Inc. (OTCQB:MRIC) today announced that Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in San Francisco, California, has become the first VA hospital to offer MRI-guided asleep deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to veterans suffering from Parkinson's disease. Dr. Paul Larson, Chief of Neurosurgery at the San Francisco VAMC, led the center's first asleep DBS procedure on October 25, 2013, using the ClearPoint ® Neuro Intervention System's real-time MRI guidance and visualization to plan, target, and confirm results of the surgery, all within the hospital's diagnostic MRI suite.
"I am happy to be able to extend the asleep DBS option to veterans struggling with Parkinson's disease," stated Dr. Larson. "Anatomical targeting with the ClearPoint System is very accurate and allows us to reach the desired location for electrode placement on the first pass in the vast majority of cases, without awake patient participation. The result is that our patients get to sleep through surgery, which can take away some of the anxiety leading up to a procedure."
DBS therapy is an important treatment option for many patients with Parkinson's disease whose symptoms are not adequately controlled with medication. The therapy involves the delivery of electrical signals to specific locations within the brain to relieve some of the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremor. Patients who undergo the treatment could experience a significant reduction in symptoms, with life-changing results. The opportunity to rest under general anesthesia during surgery makes DBS an option for many patients who otherwise could not tolerate an awake procedure or might avoid it.The ClearPoint System at the San Francisco VAMC was installed in the center's Siemens 3T diagnostic MRI scanner. The ClearPoint platform is the only technology that enables minimally-invasive neurosurgery under continuous MRI guidance, which provides superior visualization of the brain's tissue compared to other imaging technologies and can be run continuously throughout surgery. Using the ClearPoint System, a surgeon sees and selects a neurological target, aims the ClearPoint targeting device and watches via MRI as the surgical instrument is advanced to the target location inside the patient's brain. The surgeon can then immediately confirm results of the procedure with MRI before removing the patient from the operating environment.