Ultrasound Could Be Used for Parkinson’s and Depression Treatments

Results in two non-human experiments have given scientists hope that focused ultrasound could safely and effectively alter brain activity rather than destroy tissue, reports Scientific American

Jan Kubanek, a neural engineer at Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author on one of the studies said that the technology might ultimately be used to diagnose or treat neurological diseases or disorders like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, addiction or depression.

A focused ultrasound concentrates as many as 1,000 sound waves on a specific target with precision and accuracy, writes Scientific American. According to Neal Kassell, MD, former chair of neurosurgery at the University of Virginia and founder of and chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, there are 18 ways by which focused ultrasound affects tissue. He said this “creates the opportunity to treat a whole variety of medical disorders,” according to Scientific American. This would avoid surgery or implantations in humans with certain diseases or disorders.