February 2016 Research Roundup


This month’s roundup includes studies in brain disorders, immunology, and women’s health. Is it feasible to use focused ultrasound to treat temporal lobe epilepsy? Can scientists deliver GDNF plasmids across the BBB to potentially treat Parkinson’s disease? How does focused ultrasound compare to DBS in treating ET?

Research RoundupBrain
In Transcranial Magnetic Resonance–guided Focused Ultrasound for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A Laboratory Feasibility Study, researchers from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle teamed with Foundation scientists to determine whether focused ultrasound could reach clinically significant temperatures in the temporal lobe. Published in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

In Noninvasive, Targeted, and Non-Viral Ultrasound-Mediated GDNF-Plasmid Delivery for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, a collaborative group from Taiwan used focused ultrasound to assist in delivering a plasmid encoding a neurotrophic factor in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. Published in Scientific Reports.

In Functional Assessment and Quality of Life in Essential Tremor with Bilateral or Unilateral DBS and Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy, a team from the University of Virginia compared functional outcomes and quality of life in essential tremor patients treated with either bilateral deep brain stimulation or unilateral focused ultrasound ablation. Find out if one group fared better in the journal Movement Disorders.

In Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Induces Reversal of Tumor-Induced T Cell Tolerance and Prevents Immune Escape, Dr. Chandon Guha and his colleagues at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine were able to successfully alter the tumor immune environment to control primary tumors, reduce metastases, and prolong survival in a mouse model. Published in the Journal of Immunology.

Women’s Health
A group in China has published Clinical Predictors of Long-term Success in Ultrasound-guided High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation Treatment for Adenomyosis: A Retrospective Study in the journal Medicine. After a median follow-up of 40 months, the group associated a higher non-perfused volume and advanced patient age with greater clinical success. Higher BMI and lower acoustic power resulted in a higher chance of symptom recurrence.