Focused Ultrasound Therapy

Clinical Trials SquareFocused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with ALS. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasonic energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces temporary disruption of the blood brain barrier (BBB) that may enable ALS to be treated with therapeutic agents without surgery.

The primary conventional options for treatment of ALS include medication and supportive care.

For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive, effective alternative for this very difficult disease.

Advantages:

  • Focused ultrasound may be a more successful treatment than current therapy as it may include the passage of drugs that otherwise could not cross the BBB
  • It can be repeated, if necessary.

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial for temporarily opening the BBB for ALS patients is about to start recruiting patients in Canada. This study is ONLY open to Canadian citizens. 

See a full list of ALS clinical trials >

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

Focused ultrasound treatment for ALS is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.

Notable Papers

Jones RM, Hynynen K. Advances in acoustic monitoring and control of focused ultrasound-mediated increases in blood-brain barrier permeability. Br J Radiol. 2018 Dec 3:20180601. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20180601.

Maulucci F, Benninger D, Démonet JF, Du Pasquier RA, Hirt L, Hottinger A, Kuntzer T, Michel P, Nater B, Novy J, Rossetti AO, Schluep M, Vingerhoets FJG. [Neurology]. Rev Med Suisse. 2017 Jan 11;13(544-545):79-83. French.

Saunders NR, Habgood MD, Møllgård K, Dziegielewska KM. The biological significance of brain barrier mechanisms: help or hindrance in drug delivery to the central nervous system? F1000Res. 2016 Mar 10;5. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-313. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.7378.1.

Konofagou EE1, Tung YS, Choi J, Deffieux T, Baseri B, Vlachos F. Ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier opening. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2012 Jun;13(7):1332-45.

Click here for additional references from PubMed.

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