Focused ultrasound-mediated therapies for neurological disorders
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Tao Sun is a Research Fellow in Radiology at Harvard Medical School (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), and a...
Focused ultrasound (FUS) is a platform technology facilitating mechanical and/or thermal effects on a localized target. As the vanguard target of FUS therapeutic applications, the brain can benefit from its ability to access deep locations without incisions or ionizing radiation and enabling reversible blood-brain barrier opening to deliver therapeutics. Clinical research is ongoing or underway internationally for the treatment of essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, and other CNS disorders.
Depending on the acoustic/physiological nature of the tissue and the ultrasound parameters, various biological effects can be induced including increased vascular permeability, sonoporation, hyperthermia, tissue ablation/destruction, neuromodulation, and immunomodulation. The availability of these biomechanisms offers potentials for designing therapies for different neurological disorders. The objective of this collection is to provide an overview of the various FUS-based techniques available to enhance treatment efficacy in the brain. We aim to firstly offer high-level insights on which FUS regimen is most suitable for a specific disease. In addition, we provide discussion on the protocol design with respect to ultrasound parameters (frequency, power, duration, and mode—continuous versus pulsed), administration of drugs/acoustic enhancer, and other critical points.