Steroid injections, nerve stimulators and spinal fusions were no match for the chronic pain in Tammy Durfee’s left side — never mind the “searing-hot poker” sensation that would jab her leg without warning. After a decade searching for relief, a four-hour procedure in Baltimore put her pain to rest.
Neuroscientists have limited tools for understanding the human brain and treating its illnesses. Surgery or inserted electrodes are too invasive for most situations. Existing noninvasive technology, such as magnetic stimulation, is imprecise.
When considering treatments that can save their lives — but involve profound changes to their daily routines — millions of Americans have confronted the same frustrating reality: Why are there no better options?
A startup is putting low-frequency sound waves to use with the aim of revolutionizing how drugs are delivered in the human body. Suono Bio is developing technology that uses ultrasound to push drugs directly into the human body’s cells or tissues, potentially making the drugs arrive at their intended destination more quickly and with greater effect.
Researchers in Toronto have started a new phase of a trial that they hope will one day lead to the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Using a technique developed at Sunnybrook Hospital called focused ultrasound, the researchers are opening the blood-brain barrier in several areas of the brains of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Roughly 10 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of tremor disorder, whether that's essential tremor — the most common movement disorder — or the tremors resulting from Parkinson's disease. But a noninvasive treatment option that uses focused ultrasound to mitigate the effects of essential tremor is slowly making its way into hospitals worldwide.
Tim Dobbyn suffered from violent tremors that made it challenging to work, cook, or even drink without spilling. NBC News followed Tim as he underwent focused ultrasound therapy at the University of Maryland Medical Center. After a few days post-treatment, Tim says his hand is “rock steady.”