Focused ultrasound has been used in the treatment of essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, and chronic pain. It has also been evaluated as a clinical neuromodulation method for the past decade, and the technology is now being studied in psychiatric disorders, especially obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders have traditionally been treated by target-specific lesioning. The ability to ablate deep subcortical structures with a high spatial resolution through an intact skull makes focused ultrasound an exciting and interesting treatment tool in psychiatry.

In this webinar, Renana Eitan, MD, of Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School discussed neurosurgical treatment options for treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders and focused on the pathophysiology of these disorders, relevant brain circuits, and the rationale for introducing focused ultrasound for psychiatry. The presentation also reviewed the current experience with focused ultrasound for psychiatry and suggested applications such as focused ultrasound induced neuronal excitation or suppression without damaging the brain tissue.

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