Neuromodulation is “the alteration of nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus, such as electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to specific neurological sites in the body.”– Per the International Neuromodulation Society
It has been positively demonstrated that neuromodulation can be achieved through the transmission of ultrasound into the brain. Though the underlying mechanism of action remains a topic of active research, the evidence shows that different ultrasonic parameters can be used to apply therapy that either stimulates or inhibits neuronal activity.
Unlike deep brain stimulation, which involves the placement of electrodes in a specific region of the brain, or direct cortical stimulation, which requires the positioning of electrodes in the subdural or epidural space, transcranial ultrasound can be performed non-invasively without having to surgically implant electrodes inside the cranium. Furthermore, ultrasound has the advantage of achieving better spatial resolution and penetrating deeper regions of the brain compared to other non-invasive methods. Whereas cranial electrical stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation can only penetrate 1-2 centimeters beyond the surface of the skull with low spatial resolution, ultrasound is capable of penetrating to the deepest neuronal structures of the brain with the potential for millimeter resolutions. In short, transcranial ultrasound is, at present, the only non-invasive neuromodulation technique that offers depth of penetration and fine spatial resolution.
Cerevast is currently developing a commercial transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation device targeting the motor cortex region of the brain that, in combination with traditional repetitive therapy, will promote functional recovery and rehabilitation from stroke by enhancing the brain’s natural neuroplastic repair mechanisms. The device will be used to assist specialty and general health care professionals in providing a needed and effective therapeutic treatment directly at the point-of-care.
Select Published Research Articles:
- Ultrasonic modulation of neural circuit activity (an overview of recent research)
- Transcranial Ultrasound (TUS) Effects on Mental States: A Pilot Study
- Transcranial focused Ultrasound Modulates the Activity of Primary Somatosensory Cortex in Humans
- Image-Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulates Human Somatosensory Cortex
- Remote Excitation of Neuronal Circuits Using Low Intensity, Low Frequency Ultrasound
- Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound Stimulates Intact Brain Circuits
- Influence of the Pressure Field Distribution in Transcranial Ultrasonic Neurostimulation
- Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Modulates Monkey Visuomotor Behavior
- Manipulation of Subcortical and Deep Cortical Activity in the Primate Brain Using Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulation