While UCLA is starting a clinical trial with FUS-induced neuromodulation, the field is growing, with at least 16 centers around the world active in laboratory research. These investigators are advancing the field on several fronts — from clinical targeting to neurodiagnostics to treating pain and psychiatric disorders.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital — Seung-Schik Yoo, Nathan McDannold, and Natalia Vykhodtseva have arguably the most advanced preclinical studies in their respective areas. Dr. Yoo’s recent Neuroreport publication found a longer time delay associated with FUS-mediated motor response, suggesting nonelectrical neuromodulation (a distinctive brain stimulation method).
Institut Langevin, France — Jean-Francois Aubry and his group in Paris recently published results showing their work studying the effects of pressure and anesthesia while using FUS to induce neuromodulation.
Sheba Medical Center, Israel — Besides studying other forms of neuromodulation and indications for neuromodulation, Sagi Harnof reports repeatable success with FUS neuromodulation in a preclinical model. The Sheba group is studying pain treatment for patients with end-stage cancer and has plans to study several other brain diseases.
Stanford University — Kim Butts-Pauly and her team are studying both acoustic radiation force imaging (ARFI) simulation and the way that neuromodulation affects neuronal firing. Using them together, they are developing a clinical use scenario to first verify a focal spot with ARFI, then confirm it with neuromodulation, and finally create a permanent lesion with ablation.
The Technion, Israel — Eitan Kimmel, Shy Shoham, and their colleagues are discovering the exact way that neuromodulation affects the cellular membranes of neurons and have published their new model to describe the phenomenon.
The University of Utah — Jeff Anderson and his group at Utah are studying neuromodulation for brain mapping and the use of diagnostic neuromodulation to help patients who suffer brain damage while breathing on a ventilator. They are looking for biomarkers that may indicate that damage is about to occur or biomarkers that identify certain disorders.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration — Matthew Myers and his group are interested in the potential of FUS-induced neuromodulation to study the effects of blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI). They are looking for cures to treat the effects of TBI, including disruption of the blood-brain barrier, inflammation, immune responses, behavioral disturbances, and sleep disorders.