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November 10, 2015
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) - An organization based in Charlottesville is now teaming up with a foreign team of neurosurgeons.

Focused Ultrasound Foundation is funding research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.   

The pair is developing a new treatment for patients with brain disorders.


Researchers are using focused ultrasound, a procedure which uses sound waves to go through a patient's skull noninvasively and target areas of the brain. They use this to open up what's called the blood-brain barrier which essentially functions like a wall, coding around blood vessels of the brain. That barrier does not allow drugs to get in to the target sites of the brain, and by opening up the blood and brain barrier, doctors will more easily be able to deliver therapy to the patient's brain.


“In the future, this opens up a whole host of potential opportunities for drug delivery so being able to get drugs that normally could not get in to the brain in a whole variety of disorders," said Todd Mainprize, a neurosurgeon.


So far Dr. Mainprize has successfully opened the blood-brain barrier in one patient suffering from a brain tumor.


He says as time goes on, this treatment can be used all kinds of brain disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and some other psychiatric diseases.


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