January 2018 Research Roundup


How are the first essential tremor patients treated with focused ultrasound doing now, two years later? Can the right carrier improve drug delivery to the brain? The January Research Roundup answers these questions and includes a technical paper that describes an acoustic lens that might improve focused ultrasound treatments in the brain.

researchroundupA Prospective Trial of Magnetic Resonance–guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor: Results at the 2-year Follow-up.
This study reports clinical trial follow-up results, including hand tremor and disability scores, from the first 76 patients with essential tremor who were treated with focused ultrasound thalamotomy. It also assesses adverse effects over time and any delayed complications. The tremor suppression was maintained for at least two years after treatment. See Annals of Neurology >

Focused Ultrasound-facilitated Brain Drug Delivery Using Optimized Nanodroplets: Vaporization Efficiency Dictates Large Molecular Delivery.
A collaborative group from the University of North Carolina and Columbia University sought to specifically characterize the delivery of large molecules to the brain while using focused ultrasound and nanodroplets to open the blood-brain barrier. Which factors have the greatest impact on the amount of molecules delivered to the brain? Which acoustic agents best deliver large molecules safely and efficiently to the brain? See Physics in Medicine and Biology >

3D-printed Adaptive Acoustic Lens as a Disruptive Technology for Transcranial Ultrasound Therapy Using Single-element Transducers.
Although transcranial focused ultrasound brain treatments are rapidly growing, they are expensive due to the size of the multi-element transducer systems needed to accommodate skull thickness distortions. Could an acoustic lens coupled with a single-element transducer solve this problem? See Physics in Medicine and Biology >