Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Ultrasound has been used as a therapeutic modality for many years to address musculoskeletal conditions due to its effects on inflammation and pain. With recent advancements in brain stimulation techniques, researchers have started to look at the use of low frequency ultrasound as a means of getting higher resolution modulation with a more accessible device. Ultrasound modulates neuronal functions through resonant vibrations in intra-neuronal microtubules and organized water, which results in the activation of mechanically sensitive receptors and ion channels. Mechanical stretching of neuronal tissues can be stimulatory or excitatory depending on frequency and power. Neurological benefits include:
Increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which corresponds to the ease at which new neural connections can be made.
Nitric oxide-induced vasodilation, which corresponds to increased blood perfusion to the area of stimulation.
Direct modulation and stimulation/inhibition of the brain region.