2019 Breakthrough Award

Clinical trial of image-guided low-intensity focused ultrasound pulsation (LIFUP) for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Wayne Goodman, MD; Darin Dougherty, MD

Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX); Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)

Award Amount: $499,950

About one in three people with OCD do not get better after trying first-line treatments. For patients with severe, treatment-resistant OCD, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is an effective option, but requires surgery to implant electrodes within the brain and a pacemaker-like controller in the chest.

Dr. Goodman and Dr. Dougherty are studying a new brain stimulation technique called low-intensity focused ultrasound pulsation (LIFUP) that could mimic the effects of DBS but uses ultrasound to stimulate the brain, eliminating the need for surgery. This study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of LIFUP in a group of 24 patients who have tried both ERP and at least two SSRIs, but continue to experience OCD symptoms. The results from the study could ultimately help people with treatment-resistant OCD access a non-invasive and effective treatment to manage their symptoms. The team expects to start enrollment of participants in early 2023.