Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a rapidly evolving, therapeutic technology that could transform the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with bipolar disorder. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces therapeutic effects that are being evaluated. Focused ultrasound energy can be used to increase or decrease the brain signals that are released from the target tissue, with the goal of returning these to a more appropriate spectrum of responses to circumstances.
The primary options for treatment of bipolar disorder include medications and behavioral therapy.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a more effective treatment then current conventional therapy.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
A clinical trial is using neuromodulation to help patients with bipolar disorder in Austin, Texas.
A clinical trial, primarily targeting depression and anxiety, is also treatment patients with bipolar II disorder, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for bipolar disorder is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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