Aiming to make holes in the head a thing of the past

Constant, chronic headaches are more than just painful; they’re a sign that something may be seriously wrong with your head. One test that may be run in such cases is an intracranial pressure procedure, a test that generally requires doctors to drill a hole in the skull and place a catheter or screw inside to let them check the pressure.

It’s probably the last thing patients with bad headaches want to go through — and now, thanks to an Israeli start-up, they no longer have to. HeadSense‘s noninvasive intracranial pressure monitor lets doctors check the pressure inside the head, giving them accurate and clear readings on where the trouble spots are without having to resort to the drill. 

When something is seriously wrong with your head, it lets you know — through constant headaches, blurred vision, and nerve issues. All of these may be caused by increased pressure inside the head, which could be indicative of a tumor or other growth competing for “head space” with the brain, blood, or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain.

What’s needed in a case like this is a test to monitor intracranial pressure, which, depending on the amount and location of the pressure, will indicate what the problem is and the stage of treatment. But the traditional ICP test is itself major surgery; while the patient is under full sedation (in an emergency unit, no less), the doctor drills a burr hole through the skull, allowing a catheter to be inserted into the space below the dura mater (the membrane that protects the brain and spinal cord). Using a chemical, doctors can measure the level of CSF inside the head, indicating what the patient may be suffering from, and allowing doctors to drain some of the fluid if necessary.

Full text and source: Timesofisrael

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