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WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute's groundbreaking strides in addiction, Alzheimer's therapies continue in pandemic


MORGANTOWN — As alarms continue to sound over the impact of the pandemic on people suffering from substance use disorder and other mental health conditions, a team at the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute is breaking new ground in the search for therapies to improve the lives of those who have been affected and their families.
Earlier this year, a team at RNI completed the first human trial in the world using focused ultrasound for addiction, and recently, it did it again.

And for the second time anywhere in the world, the RNI team used focused ultrasound technology to target the parts of the brain responsible for cravings and addictive behaviors.

It is the same technology that was used in 2018 for the first time in the U.S. to open the blood-brain barrier in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex of an Alzheimer’s patient.

“The same way we used focused ultrasound for Alzheimer’s, now we’re treating addiction by targeting the addiction parts of the brain — the specific parts of the brain that are involved in cravings, behavior and anxiety that are electrically and chemically malfunctioning,” said Dr. Ali Rezai, RNI’s executive chair.

Learn more from The State Journal.