Cruises will feature the latest technology to treat patients with Parkinson's and tremors

This summer, Cruces Hospital will take an important step in the treatment of diseases that cause movement disorders. The two most common are essential tremor and Parkinson's. Until now, the procedure to end these uncontrollable tics of neurological origin has involved a complex surgical intervention to work on the brain circuits behind these tics. In a few months, a Paracalt hospital will open in the same area, but it will use a new high-intensity focused ultrasound device called HIFU. Modern technology exists today to treat movement disorders.

New cases

Parkinson's disease is diagnosed every year in the Basque Country.

Alfredo Antigudad, head of the neurology service at Cruz, explains that the main advantages of this new technique are that it is “less invasive” for the patient and “safer” than surgery. A head surgery, in addition to being complex and very difficult, requires a long recovery time.

This technology allows the use of high-intensity ultrasound focused at a specific point to modify deep brain neural structures without cutting through the skin, bone, or brain mass. Other advantages are that the patient stays awake for the entire procedure – which takes about three hours – and the results are immediately visible. After treatment, the tremor disappears in one session and the patient is discharged the next day. He stays only one day. The device is attached to one of the MRI rooms in the hospital.


The new technique is less invasive than brain surgery now used to treat this problem

Reference Center

Osakidetsu will invest 10 million euros to acquire equipment owned by some hospitals in the National Health System. The decision to establish it in Cruz was, in large part, due to the fact that the hospital was listed by the Ministry of Health as a Center of Reference (CSUR) for the surgical treatment of Parkinson's and other complex movement disorders. This unit was created 20 years ago and consists of neurologists, neurophysiologists, neurosurgeons and neurologists.

The Department of Health issued this notification yesterday on the occasion of World Parkinson's Day, which is observed today. It is the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. In Euskadi, 400 new cases are diagnosed every year. Although one in four affected Basques are under the age of 65, it is a more common pathology in the elderly.

Although there are many different types of symptoms and varying degrees of involvement, the most common are motor symptoms. These include stiffness, tremors, slowness, or changes in gait. However, those with the biggest impact on sufferers' quality of life are less likely to be sleep, mood or memory loss.

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