Noninvasive Neuro Surgery- Will it Work for Migraines?

Published on: Modified on:



The ExAblate® Neuro is a groundbreaking device that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with focused ultrasound technology in treating people with brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and neuropathic pain. Given that migraine is also a neurological disorder, how long will it be before migraineurs can start reaping the rewards of this innovative new device that is making waves in operating rooms all over the world?

Noninvasive Neuro Surgery- Will it Work for Migraines? Migravent

Neuro surgery, without the pain

Developed by Israel’s InSightec, the ExAblate system uses high-intensity ultrasound and MRI for treating brain tumors, uterine cysts, and pain from bone cancer, without the need for sharp knives, harmful radiation, or excessive recuperation.

Recently, the ExAblate Neuro has also been approved to treat patients of Parkinson’s by using deep-brain ultrasound pulses to target specific areas of the brain in relieving tremors and eliminating nerve pain.

Like many other neurological treatments aimed at eliminating migraines, such as the migraine neuro-stim procedure, the ExAblate Neuro pinpoints specific areas of the thalamus, a part of the brain linked with migraines, in addition to stroke and epilepsy.

In a recent clinical trial, more than 50% of test subjects who received the neuro surgery for essential tremor reported “very significant relief.”

How does it work?

The patient slides onto an MRI table set up a “helmet” which contains thousands of ultrasound elements. The physician then uses medical imaging in conjunction with focused ultrasound energy to carefully administer precise treatment while monitoring the patient’s progress in real time, without the need for anesthesia or long-term hospitalization.

Because the treatment uses ultrasound energy in place of sharp scalpels, patients who undergo the procedure are able to recover quickly without experiencing any harsh side effects or complications.

What about migraines?

While doctors currently use the ExAblate Neuro for patients of Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders, scientists have not suggested using it for migraine therapy.

Still, given the generous feedback InSightec has received- the ExAblate system is used in thousands of operating rooms around the world, and has received several prestigious awards- and considering its revolutionary impact on cancer and neuro surgeries, it’s conceivable that the new ultrasound technology will soon find its way to migraine prevention.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Coming Soon: Turn Off Headaches with a Remote!

Twenty Minutes to Prevent a Migraine- Think Fast!


30 Patients With Chronic Neurological Disorders Treated With ExAblate® Neuro

Exablate Neuro MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound: Cleared in EU for Neurological Disorders

Image courtesy of Muffet/flickr