Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with mood disorder, more technically described as “Unspecified Mood (Affective) 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 neuromodulation of the targeted tissue, which alters the reactivity of stimuli and enables a positive shift in mood. While significant work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of mood disorder include medication.
Focused ultrasound is non-invasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue, and it can be repeated, if necessary.
There is a clinical trial in California that is treating patients with mood disorders.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for mood disorders is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Sanguinetti JL, Hameroff S, Smith EE, Sato T, Daft CMW, Tyler WJ, Allen JJB. Transcranial Focused Ultrasound to the Right Prefrontal Cortex Improves Mood and Alters Functional Connectivity in Humans. Front Hum Neurosci. 2020 Feb 28;14:52. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.00052. eCollection 2020.
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