Researchers from the University of PlymouthIn the UK, they have proven that ultrasound exposure to certain areas of the brain causes therapeutic functional changes that last up to an hour. This paves the way for the development of non-invasive treatments for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
As it turned out, low-intensity transcranialUltrasound stimulation (US) can target both superficial and deep brain regions with very high specificity, applying ultrasound pressure and changing the way neurons communicate. The researchers found that TUS applied to the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), which is associated with emotion and memory, reduced its GABA levels by one hour. They also found that the PCC's functional connectivity with the rest of the brain improved during this time.
And when ACE was applied to the dorsal anteriorIn the cingulate cortex (dACC), an area associated with emotion, empathy, impulse control, and decision-making, the researchers did not see the same decrease in GABA levels, but did see an increase in functional connectivity.
TUS has been shown to be an effective therapy that produces reversible changes in the brain. This can be called the first step towards the development of non-invasive treatments for mental illness.