Ultrasound Enables 'Deep-Brain' Treatment, Without the Implant

The treatment known as deep brain stimulation requires the implantation of a surgical device to treat neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. A team at Washington University in St. Louis has a new method of brain stimulation that does not call for an implant . Instead, the team uses focused ultrasound to turn specific types of neurons in the brain on and off, enabling precise control of motor activity without surgical device implantation.

The team, led by Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, is the first to provide this kind of "sonothermogenetics."