A team of Chinese research is exploring a new technique which involves the use of noninvasive ultrasound deep brain stimulation as a treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The new method was tested on mice.
According to the paper, the significant motor deficits caused by Parkinson’s disease are linked to a dysfunction of the basal ganglia circuitry. This circuit includes two additional components which play an essential role in the case of the motor function. The components in question are the subthalamic nucleus (or STN) and a significant part of the globus pallidus (GPi).
Deep brain stimulation of the STN or GPi can have a positive effect in the case of motor deficits generated by Parkinson’s disease, among which we can count akinesia, bradykinesia, tremor, or rigidity. Previous studies have shown that deep brain stimulation is useful in the case of advanced Parkinson’s disease and but a severe surgical procedure is needed, and this requirement can lead to several complications.
New Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Method Developed By Chinese Scientists
To mitigate this factor, the team of researchers set their sight on ultrasounds. It is known that the mechanical property of ultrasound allows it to pass through human skulls and to generate neural activity. The use of Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (or LIPUS) showed great potential for reversing the issues created by neurological or psychiatric afflictions.
During the study, the researchers explored how LIPUS worked in the case of select issues, which is based on the use of a complex mouse model. The scientists induced the affliction, and a wearable ultrasound transducer was placed on the heads of the mice which were observed.
A battery of tests studied the effects of the therapy at a chemical and cognitive level inferred that the method is quite efficient as the changes were visible. It is presumed that a perfected version of the technique could be used in the future on human patients, but further research is needed before a definite conclusion will be available.