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Focused ultrasound (FUS) has the potential to modulate regional brain excitability and possibly aid seizure control; however, effects on behavior of FUS used as a seizure therapy are unknown. This study explores behavioral effects and hippocampal restoration induced by pulsed FUS in a kainic acid (KA) animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Twenty-nine male Sprague-Dawley rats were observed for 20weeks with anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral performance evaluations, comprising measures of anxiety, limb usage, sociability, and memory. FUS targeted to the right hippocampus was given 9 and 14weeks after KA was delivered to the right amygdala. Ultrasound pulsations were delivered with the acoustic settings of 0.25 of mechanical index, 0.5 W/cm2 of intensity spatial peak temporal average (ISPTA), 100Hz of pulse repetition frequency, and 30% of duty cycle, during three consecutive pulse trains of 10min separated by 5-min rests. Controls included normal animals with sham injections and KA-exposed animals without FUS exposure. Longitudinal MRI observations showed that FUS substantially protected hippocampal and striatal structures from KA-induced atrophy. KA alone increased anxiety, impaired contralateral limb usage, and reduced sociability and learning. Two courses of FUS sonications partially ameliorated these impairments by enhancing exploring and learning, balancing limb usage, and increasing social interaction. The histology results indicated that two sonications enhanced neuroprotection effect and decreased the inflammation markers induced by KA. This study supports existence of both neuroprotective and beneficial behavioral effects from low-intensity pulsed ultrasound in the KA animal model of epilepsy.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s13311-023-01363-7
View details for PubMedID 36917440