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AAN 2023 | The future of focused ultrasound in AD

Philip Tipton, MD, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, discusses the use of focused ultrasound in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The potential use of focused ultrasound (FUS) in Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders is a growing area of research where reports include the induction of transient opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In AD, FUS could be used with anti-amyloid therapies to deliver higher concentrations of drugs than previously achieved. A recent small-scale study assessing the long-term safety outcomes and cognitive changes of focused ultrasound in patients with AD found encouraging results. Findings showed that FUS could be done safely, and also, the BBB had an increased permeability only in the areas targeted by FUS, as seen by MRIs. A topline result with unexplained reasoning behind it was the changes in mini-mental state examination (MMSE) scores. The reason behind this possible cognitive benefit, such as reduction in amyloid deposition and affected neurogenesis, demonstrated by this use of FUS is unknown. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2023 in Boston, MA.

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