One of the long-term aspirations of neuroscientists is to find ways to change activity in only certain parts of the brain while leaving the rest unchanged. If you are taking medication for depression, for example, the drug will impact the entire brain and clinicians have very limited control over where the drug goes and what it does. We already know that specific regions of the brain (and some of their connections) are dysfunctional in certain conditions but other regions can work perfectly well. This study provides us with the genuine potential to think about using ultrasound for more targeted interventions in people with a range of mental health conditions.
Associate Professor of Neuroscience and a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow
It was very interesting to see that when we targeted two different brain regions, it resulted in different changes in GABA concentration. This suggests that some TUS protocols work well for certain parts of the brain and not so well for others. Or maybe there is another mechanism at play, like the fact that the region needs to be in a certain state for the intervention to work, and that is something we clearly need to explore more in future work.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Brain Research & Imaging Centre
Faculty of Health
Exceptional clinical and academic learning, social engagement and research in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology and health professions.