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Wynn Legon, Ph.D., and Andrew Strohman

Feb. 19, 2024

Low-intensity ultrasound shows promise as a noninvasive approach to alleviate pain

Virginia Tech researchers at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC report that applying low-intensity focused ultrasound to an area deep within the brain may point to new ways to help people cope with chronic pain. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists demonstrated the effectiveness of using low-intensity focused ultrasound to modulate the activity in a critical region in the brain that processes and regulates pain signals. Researchers, including first author Andrew Strohman, a Virginia Tech M.D./Ph.D student conducting research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, found the application of low-intensity ultrasound to a structure known as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex reduced pain, diminished bodily responses to pain, and decreased pain-related brain activity without the need for invasive procedures, researchers said.

Creating a healthier future. For everyone.

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC is one of the nation’s fastest-growing academic biomedical research enterprises and a destination for world-class researchers. The institute’s Virginia Tech scientists focus on diseases that are the leading causes of death and suffering in the United States, including brain disorders, heart disease, and cancer. Since its founding in 2010, the research institute has experienced unprecedented growth: doubling its enterprise and lab facilities in Roanoke, while also investing in brand-new laboratories on the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in Washington, D.C.

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