The Gamma Knife is opening new avenues of treatment for those suffering from benign & malignant tumors, movement disorders, such as Essential Tremor, Parkinson's Disease, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and other functional disorders of the brain.
Benign & Malignant Tumors
The Gamma Knife is emerging as the standard of care for patients suffering from benign and malignant brain tumors. This is because of its finite targeting ability.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery has proven effective in the treatment of glial, meningeal, neuronal, and pituitary tumors as well as acoustic neuromas. For malignant tumors, it is traditionally used as a complimentary, outpatient treatment option. Survival rates can exceed those previously reported for surgery with whole-brain radiation or whole brain radiation by itself. With the Gamma Knife, indications show lower morbidity, a greater flexibility in the number of tumors treated, and the ability to treat patients multiple times, if new lesions develop.
Sufferers of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) describe it as a facial pain that is so excruciating it feels like an electric shock shooting through your lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw.
Caused by pressure on the trigeminal nerve, TN is not fatal, but it is universally considered to be the most painful affliction known to mankind. In fact, the pain is often said to be among the most acute pain known to medical practice. Something as simple and routine as brushing the teeth, putting on makeup or even a slight breeze can trigger an attack, resulting in sheer agony. It most often affects one side of the face, but some people experience pain at different times on both sides. The onset of symptoms occurs most often after age 50 and is commonly treated through medication. But for many TN patients, medications lose their effectiveness and can produce undesirable side effects. That's when Gamma Knife radiosurgery can help. It is now considered one of the best standard treatments for Trigeminal Neuralgia.
The most common movement disorder worldwide is known as Essential Tremor. It is characterized by uncontrollable shaking in the hands and forearms. The head may also move in a yes-yes or no-no movement, and the voice may tremble.
Essential Tremor occurs when muscles are in use, and it often shows up with actions such as eating, writing, and speaking. The cause of Essential Tremor is unclear, but it is believed to be related to abnormal communications between certain areas of the brain. Most people with essential tremor have a family history of the condition, and it typically appears in adults age 60 and over. In fact, the risk of developing the disorder increases with age. While the condition is not life-threatening, it can become so severe that the person’s quality of life is deeply affected. Going out socially or even continuing with a career can be an embarrassing ordeal. When medications have lost their effectiveness, Gamma Knife radiosurgery offers a non-invasive solution with a low complication risk for treating Essential Tremor.
Arterial Venous Malformation (AVM) is a congenital tangle of dilated blood vessels that interrupts the normal blood flow in the brain. AVM can produce seizures, strokes and neurological deficits. If an AVM ruptures, it can lead to serious brain hemorrhage. It's important to note that Arterial Venous Malformation is the leading cause of stroke in younger people.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery has become the gold standard for AVM treatment whether used as an initial treatment or as a single or staged treatment. Because it is non-invasive, it allows patients with AVM to return to most activities soon after treatment.