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ABC Tissue Products Pty Ltd presented a $2 million cheque to St Vincent’s Hospital CEO A/Prof Anthony Schembri to help the Hospital in its quest to acquire a $6 million MRI guided focussed ultrasound.
The MRI represents a major breakthrough in the treatment of patients with tremor, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. It uses focussed ultrasound beams to create non-invasive lesions in small specific locations in the brain thereby effectively treating movement disorders by disrupting the neural pathways propagating the abnormal signals.
The system combines two technologies; focused ultrasound beam which heats and destroys targeted tissue non-invasively whilst not affecting non-targeted tissue and Magnetic Resonance Imaging system (MRI) which visualizes patient anatomy, and controls the treatment by continuously monitoring the heating effect using thermal imaging.
The treatments are completely non-invasive without the need for general anaesthesia. It does not use radiation or implants and patients are treated in one session. Randomised clinical trials show high efficacy with very low complication rates.
In accepting the cheque and acknowledging the extraordinary generosity of Managing Director Henry Ngai and his wife Jenny Ngai and ABC Tissue Products Pty Ltd, Professor Schembri spoke of the Hospital’s 160 year track record of introducing trail blazing technology and procedures and said this would be another important innovation for the St Vincent’s Campus.
The establishment of the MRI guided focussed ultrasound service at St Vincent’s would be the first in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.