Key Points

  • Researchers sought to determine whether low-intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU) could reach and alter the deepest structures of the brain.
  • These brain circuits are responsible for important cognitive, sensory, and motor functions, but other noninvasive neuromodulation techniques have failed to reach them.
  • When the researchers applied LIFU to healthy volunteers, they observed bold signal and perfusion changes in the targeted regions.
  • The team has published their results in Scientific Reports.

Real Time and Delayed Effects of Subcortical Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound

Research Roundup 2019 smA team of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles sought to determine whether low-intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU) could reach, and cause changes in, the deepest structures of the brain that have not been reachable by other neuromodulation techniques. Many of the deeper and larger brain circuits are responsible for important cognitive, sensory, and motor functions. When researchers used LIFU to modulate the left lateral basal ganglia structures in healthy volunteers, they observed signal and perfusion changes in the targeted regions. Functional MRI data confirmed the observations. In the future, will LIFU allow scientists to fully analyze these regions and develop treatments for damaged areas deep in the brain?

See Scientific Reports >

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