Today we speak with Dr Lennart Verhagen, a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology who has bet his career on ultrasounic neuromodulation.
Lennart works with his colleagues at Oxford as part of a small network of research teams pushing the frontier of ultra sound brain stimulation and imagery. This technology has breakthrough even revolutionary potential thanks its ability to stimulate deep brain structures, non-invasively and with great precision.
In this conversation, Lennart gives me a crash course in ultrasound and, in particular, low intensity focused ultrasound. We dive into its history, significance and potential as a brain stimulation technology.
0:06 – Why is a psychology department looking at ultrasound?
2:25 – Why are we making breakthroughs with an old technology like ultrasound?
7:15 – On the relationship of focused ultrasound to the high intensity ultrasound used in medicine.
8:35 – Why is low intensity focused ultrasound important as a brain stimulation technology?
10:40 – On his team’s work and why it is significant.
15:10 – On the clinical significance of longer duration effects and mechanisms of action.
20:35 – On next steps in his research program.
23:13 – On the safety profile of the new longer duration protocols.
27:10 – On the outlook to widespread clinical usage and lessons learned from the development of TMS protocols.
33:00 – On the clinical potential for focused ultrasound neuromodulation and what treatments might look like.
41:30 – On what undergoing ultrasound brain stimulation would involve.
46:20 – On its potential as a tool in basic neuroscience research.
Lennart’s Paris based collaborator, Jean-Francois Aubry
A paper, published on the day of the interview on Ultrasonic Imaging of Gene Expression