Central Florida Roundup
UCF Lake Nona Medical Center offers incisionless brain surgery to treat Parkinson's patients
Incisionless Brain Surgery
UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, which opened earlier this year in Orlando’s Medical City, is the first hospital in Central Florida to offer incisionless brain surgery to treat patients with essential tremor, a movement disorder, and tremors from Parkinson’s Disease that can’t be controlled with medications.
Dr. Nizam Razack, an Orlando neurosurgeon who performs the procedure, says the non-invasive technique takes place entirely inside an MRI scanner, using beams of ultrasound energy to target the cells that have gone haywire in a deep part of the brain called the thalamus. “We’re essentially putting sound energy into the brain to sort of heat up (and create a lesion in) that part of the brain that controls the patient’s tremor, and it makes it stop,” Razack says.
Patients’ heads are shaved prior to the treatment and a halo-like device is attached to their skull throughout the procedure. Results are often immediate, with patients returning to their normal activities — without the tremors — within days. “You’re essentially walking into the MRI scanner and walking out. It’s all done within a matter of 2-to-2½ hours,” Razack says. The method also reduces infection risks.
UCF Lake Nona Medical Center is one of the few in the nation performing the procedure, which was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016 as an alternative to a more invasive treatment known as deep brain stimulation. Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from essential tremor, a progressive neurological disease that causes uncontrolled shaking of the hands, arms and other body parts. It is often an inherited disorder and tends to worsen as a person ages.
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- The University of Central Florida’s business incubation program hired Ray Villegas as its program manager, overseeing the Mentorship and First Customer program in UCF’s innovation districts. Villegas previously was an economic development liaison for CareerSource Central Florida.
- Robin Braswell, who previously worked for the UCF Small Business Development Center and the Georgia Tech Economic Development Institute, was named director of the Florida Small Business Development Center at Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa.
- This fall, Tavistock Development will debut the 234-room Lake Nona Wave Hotel in the heart of the Lake Nona Town Center. The hotel will feature smart windows that change tint to respond to sun and outdoor conditions, voice-automated room controls and heated toilets.
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- City Furniture, a Tamarac-based furniture chain, debuted a 133,000-sq.-ft. showroom in Altamonte Springs that will employ 100.
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- Orange County Public Schools is seeking a buyer for a 94-acre property near the downtown entrance of Eatonville, the nation’s first all-black incorporated city, to transform the parcel into a mixeduse development.
- Space Perspective, a space flight experience company based in Titusville that plans to offer hydrogen balloon rides to space, successfully launched its first Neptune One spaceship test vehicle in June. The spaceship reached its target altitude and traversed the Florida peninsula before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Frontier Communications, a Connecticut-based internet and cable provider that recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is now being publicly traded on Nasdaq, is closing its DeLand office and eliminating 107 jobs.
- Swoop, an ultra-low-cost Canadian airline owned by WestJet, is adding non-stop flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport from Toronto, Hamilton and Edmond this fall.
- Viva Air, a Latin American low-cost airline, is adding service between Medellin, Colombia, and Orlando International Airport.
Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.
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