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Neuroscientists produce guide for ultrasound use to treat brain disorders in clinical emergencies
Date:9/8/2011

imal species and dosage levels are required, however, before the safety can be fully ascertained."

Moving this technology forward will require scientists, engineers, and physicians spanning many disciplines. The impetus for the Nature Protocols article is to disseminate basic methods for conducting ultrasonic neuromodulation. "There is a major need for increased open communication among engineers designing ultrasound-based medical devices, neuroscientists studying the core biological effects of ultrasound, and clinicians implementing ultrasound for therapeutic interventions," said Tyler.

The Nature Protocols article poses specific questions needing to be addressed, such as how ultrasound affects neurons on a molecular and cellular level, how to correct for impedance mismatches between skin and skull interfaces, and the need for characterizing safety across different exposure times, applications, and disease states.

The research reported in the article provides the provocative demonstration that ultrasonic neuromodulation is capable of attenuating seizure activity during pharmacologically induced status epilepticus in rodents. "While other research groups have reported that focused ultrasound can modulate seizure activity in the brain, the approaches used in those earlier studies require timely preparations and the implementation of MRI to focus the ultrasound in an approach known as magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound," said Tyler. "Our findings show that clinicians may not need to take such complicated, costly, and time-consuming approaches to treating patients in critical situations."


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Contact: Paula Byron
paulabyron@vt.edu
540-526-2027
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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