• News

"A Noninvasive Way To Control Individual Brain Regions" - Catherine Offord

  • The Scientist
  • New York, NY
  • (July 13, 2018)

Researchers at Caltech have designed a noninvasive method to control specific neural circuits in the mouse brain. The technique, published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, combines ultrasound waves with genetic engineering and the administration of designer compounds to selectively activate or inhibit neurons. Although it’s currently only tested in mice, this approach could offer a novel way to administer therapy to regions of the human brain that are difficult to access when using surgery. While several emerging methods in neuroscience allow researchers to manipulate brain circuits, most “require invasive techniques such as stereotaxic surgery, which can damage tissue and initiate a long-lasting immune response,” noted Scott Russo, PhD, professor of neuroscience, psychiatry and director of the Center for Affective Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, respectively, in an accompanying News and Views article. “Also, conventional pharmacological approaches lack the spatial, temporal and cell-type specificity required to treat the brain, and can lead to deleterious side effects.”

- Scott J. Russo, PhD, Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Director, Center for Affective Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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