Brain Program

The Foundation considers the brain to be the vanguard target for focused ultrasound.  Given the challenges of accessing the brain and the high cost, complications and limitations of some current approaches, we believe that this non-invasive technology has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of many brain disorders. It has the potential to:

  • transform treatment by gaining access deep within the brain without harming healthy tissue;
  • ablate targeted tissue without exposing the brain to the effects of ionizing radiation;
  • enable the reversible opening of the blood-brain barrier to deliver therapeutic agents to targeted diseased areas;
  • noninvasively dissolve blood clots that cause stroke; and
  • noninvasively and reversibly modulate neural activity.
It is the ultimate goal of the Foundation's Brain Program to see focused ultrasound become a standard of care for the treatment of a range of neurological disorders, including movement disorders, brain tumors, epilepsy and stroke. The Foundation works with clinicians, researchers, and industry experts from around the world to identify critical challenges and design research to overcome them.

To date the Foundation has held six brain workshops that have succeeded in defining clear research objectives for clinical, preclinical and technical investigation. Clinical studies have been launched investigating the treatment of movement disorders, including essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. The Foundation’s technical research program involves a vibrant community of experts around the world to solve the challenges of applying focused ultrasound to an increasing array of high-impact, clinically unmet needs.

We are currently working with leading neurosurgery research centers to advance focused ultrasound for several movement disorders. The recent publication of focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor in The New England Journal of Medicine is an incredible milestone for our Brain Program and demonstrates the potential of the technology. Based on this promising research, a clinical trial is starting in the U.S. that may lead to FDA approval of focused ultrasound for the treatment of essential tremor. Clinical research is also underway to study Parkinsonian tremor and dyskinesia.

We believe that focused ultrasound technology has the potential to make the practice of neurosurgery safer, faster, more effective and less costly.

Participating in Clinical Trials

Patient participation in clinical trials is critical to advancing focused ultrasound treatment for brain disorders.  Research for essential tremor, Parkinsonian tremor and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease is being planned or conducted with patients at a few leading centers.  To find out more, you can search our Clinical Trials database.