New Ultrasound Technique Could Wake Coma Patients

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The ultrasound treatment brought a 25-year-old brain injury patient back to full consciousness.

(qmed.com) – A new study out of UCLA has shown promise with ultrasound techniques that use sonic stimulation to excite the neurons in the brain’s central core for processing information, known as the thalamus. The procedure, known as low-intensity focused ultrasound pulsation, has potential as a therapy to help coma patients awake from comas and recover from serious brain trauma.

The researchers created a device about the size of a tea cup saucer that can create a small sphere of acoustic energy targetting different regions of the brain to stimulate brain tissue. In their latest study, the device was used to help a 25-year-old patient recover from a traumatic brain injury. Researchers say that the technique could eventually be transitioned into a portable device like a helmet to provide a cost effective treatment that could be used to “wake up” patients into a more conscious state. CONTINUE