ChildrensIn January, a team of multidisciplinary doctors performed the first case in the world of using bilateral high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) pallidotomy on Jesus, a 22-year-old patient with dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

The procedure is part of a clinical trial led by Chima Oluigbo, M.D., pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s National Hospital.

“The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the safety of ExAblate Transcranial MRgFUS as a tool for creating bilateral or unilateral lesions in the globus pallidus (GPi) in patients with treatment-refractory secondary dystonia due to dyskinetic cerebral palsy,” Dr. Oluigbo explained. “The secondary purpose is to assess the impact of HIFU pallidotomy on dyskinetic cerebral palsy movement disorder in pediatric and young adult patients.”

In addition, the impact of bilateral pallidotomy on motor development, pain perception, speech, memory, attention and cognition in these patients will be assessed.

“We hope that the trial will help us find results that lead to treatments that can reduce the rigidity and stiffness which occurs in cerebral palsy so we can help these children who do not have any effective treatment,” Dr. Oluigbo added.

“This new, first of its kind, non-invasive therapeutic approach – without even a skin incision – will open the door to offering hope for a number of kids with movement disorders who have failed conventional therapy,” said Robert Keating, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at Children’s National. “We are at the beginning of a new era for treating functional disorders in the pediatric patient.”

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