In the treatment of depression, drugs, light therapy , transcranial magnetic stimulation, exposure to direct current, magnetoconvulsive and electroconvulsive therapy, surgery (deep brain stimulation, laser abelation , radio frequencies), radiosurgery (linear accelerator, gamma knife) are used. However, all of these methods have side effects and limitations.
Focused ultrasound is a new method of treating depressive conditions. It is a non-invasive therapeutic technology that improves quality of life and reduces the cost of treating people with depression. During this procedure, the ultrasound beam is focused on a target located deep in the brain. This does not damage the surrounding normal tissue. Where the ultrasound beams converge, many positive therapeutic effects occur. Thus, this method allows the treatment of mental disorders without radiation and incisions.
This method represents an alternative to invasive surgery and radiosurgery. When using it, there is a point thermal ablation and an increase in the effect of drug therapy.
Benefits of ultrasonic treatment:
- the method is non-invasive, there are no holes in the skull, electrodes, which reduces the risk of infection and thrombosis;
- minimal damage to healthy brain tissue;
- addition to drug therapy, due to improved drug delivery to the brain, by increasing the permeability of the blood- brain barrier.
Ultrasound is used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging. MRI is used to navigate and accurately deliver ultrasonic waves to a target in real time.
This method can be used after a stroke for the purpose of thrombolysis .