Ultrasound could offer stress management solution

Using an ultrasound on the skull could change people’s moods and treat depression.

This is according to scientists at the University of Arizona, who became interested in the diagnostic tool as a treatment for anxiety after it was found moods in lab mice were altered after an ultrasound machine was applied to their heads.

Dr Stuart Hameroff, professor emeritus at the department of anaesthesiology and psychology, as well as the director of the Center for Consciousness Studies, was the lead author on the study, but wanted to get involved and used the device on himself.

After 15 seconds of using the ultrasound, Dr Hameroff was convinced the treatment would not work, but a minute later he commented: “I started to feel like I’d had a martini.”

The man’s mood was elevated for the next two hours and it is thought this mood change could help counsellors access patients who otherwise may find it hard to let go of their negative emotions in therapy sessions.

Dr Hameroff said: “Important structures called microtubules in all brain neurons vibrate in the ultrasound range and help mediate mood and consciousness.”

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