A new approach to treating brain disorders may be blasting them with noise sounds. In effect it’s like kicking the TV in order to get it to work right. Using ultrasound machines are a treatment for brain injuries looks to be a future treatment.
William Tyler and his team at Arizona State University are exploring how to use the device on brain tissues.
Using high-intensity ultrasound can have devastating effects which makes this research a bit challenging. When cells are exposed to the high intensity they tend to be heated up and die. By lowering the intensity the team hypothesized that it may be able to manipulate nerve cells without the damage.
Using the cells of a living mouse brain they placed slice into an artificial version of cerebronspinal fluid. That is the fluid that protects the brain by cushioning it. They then beamed the tissues with different frequencies of low-intense ultrasound. Using dye molecules they were able to monitor the results.
The goal was to get the cells to release neurotransmitters. That the the molecule that carries information from nerve cells to one another. That transmission can be altered in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression and epilepsy. The results used that it could boost those releases.
Actual treatment of humans with this method is years away.