Bringing FUS to Ghent University Hospital
The aim of this year’s running event is to raise money to bring an innovative medical therapy to Ghent University. Focused ultrasound or so-called FUS is a non-invasive therapeutic technology that uses ultrasonic energy to target tissue deep in the body without incision or radiation. It is therefore currently investigated to target specific areas in the brain that are part of a brain disorder process. Using different types of ultrasonic energy allows to induce both small lesions within the brain or to temporarily induce changes in brain functioning. The advantage of the technique for patients is that opening the scull for therapy is not required, avoiding in this way the complications associated with open brain surgery. Optimization of the technique still requires extensive multidisciplinary neuroscientific research and the aim of this year’s fundraising event in Ghent is to gather funds for the dedicated research area on FUS to treat brain disorders. In the future FUS may potentially help patients with epilepsy, brain tumors, movement disorders and stroke.
At Ghent University Hospital we have initiated research with FUS (Review article: Recent Advances in the Use of Focused Ultrasound in the Treatment of Epilepsy) and are founders of the BENEFUS consortium, a collaboration between Belgian and Dutch academics aiming to bring this new therapy to patients. Recently, we also initiated a collaboration with Stanford University to set up a preclinical FUS research line.