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Early in our research, we realized that we could enhance neuromodulation’s effectiveness by integrating patient-specific brain anatomy into the surgical plans. We, therefore, developed and implemented a technique to visualize a patient’s brain anatomy for tremor surgery. This technique enhanced our precision, and guided surgical decision-making to maximize patient safety. In the next phase of research, we are excited to leverage this technique to optimize and personalize tremor surgery.

Less-invasive Treatment Options for Patients

We are developing and testing less-invasive neuromodulation treatments such as focused ultrasound. As a result, we can now treat neurological diseases without touching patients’ heads during surgery using focused ultrasound technology. These advancements enable us to treat patients who cannot or do not want conventional surgery.

In the future, personalized and less-invasive treatments will enable us to go beyond what is possible today and treat diseases that are considered incurable. For example, we tested focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease in Phase II-III clinical trials. These trials led to regulatory and insurance approval of these treatments. We remain cautiously optimistic as we push the envelope and test focused ultrasound treatment for other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

These research innovations will also help us learn about brain structure and function, and how to restore it after injury or degeneration. We think this work will be critical for the future success of neuromodulation.