Use of Focused Ultrasound for Stimulation of Various Neural Structures

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The subject of this book is the description and analysis of research, carried out mainly in several Russian institutes, on the application of focused ultrasound for stimulation of somatosensory, hearing and other neural structures. It is well-known that focused ultrasound is used widely for local ablation of diseased or damaged biological tissues and has become one of the most popular, safe and effective methods for application in medicine amongst existing physical technologies. The content of this book is related with completely different field of investigation, namely, with application of focused ultrasound for activation of peripheral receptor structures. Stimulation of various neural structures was implemented with the use of short pulses (stimuli) of focused ultrasound in the MHz-frequency range. It was shown that the use of amplitude-modulated ultrasound for inducing of hearing sensations has become a separate and important field of research useful for application in diagnostics of different hearing disorders as well as for prosthetics of hearing function of the deaf people. An important part of the book is investigations of the main affecting factors of focused ultrasound and mechanisms of its stimulating effects. The possibilities of the practical use of these effects including their applications in clinical medicine for diagnostics of different neurological, dermatological and hearing diseases are also presented in this book. One of its aims was also to submit an analysis of numerous works carried out in many countries and, first of all, in the USA, regarding the use of focused ultrasound for reversible effects on different neural structures, including the brain structures. Such well-known effects as so called ultrasound neurostimulation and neuromodulation of the brain structures will be discussed, as well as advantages and limitations of focused ultrasound as a tool for neuromodulation of the central nervous system.