RNI in the News

Dr. Ali Rezai, live from the Milken Global Conference

In this clip from Bloomberg TV, Dr. Ali Rezai discusses Alzheimer’s and addiction research at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and the importance of building strong partnerships.


An Ultrasound Experiment Tackles a Giant Problem in Brain Medicine

The investigators, at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University, reported their results last week in The New England Journal of Medicine. When the barrier was opened, 32 percent more plaque was dissolved, said Dr. Ali Rezai, a neurosurgeon at the institute, who led the study. 


Opening Blood-Brain Barrier to Deliver Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise

Aducanumab (Aduhelm) infusions combined with focused ultrasound led to lower cerebral amyloid-beta levels in Alzheimer’s disease, a proof-of-concept trial showed. The investigational treatment involved creating an opening in the blood-brain barrier with MRI-guided focused ultrasound to boost drug delivery.

This Pill Tracks Your Vitals From the Inside

An ingestible “digital pill” that measures heart rate and breathing from inside the stomach could detect the warning signs of sleep apnea, cardiac distress, and even opioid overdoses.


A neurology professor weighs in on the health questions surrounding Mitch McConnell

For a second time in a little over a month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze up while taking questions a press conference, raising questions about his health.


Neuralink competitor Precision Neuroscience conducts its first clinical study to map human brain signals

It happened so fast that Craig Mermel missed it. He was standing in a busy operating room in West Virginia, waiting for a surgeon to place Precision Neuroscience’s neural implant system onto a conscious patient’s brain for the first time. 


WVU addresses addiction crisis with novel ultrasound treatment

On the heels of the country’s deadliest year for drug overdoses, the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute launched a first-in-the-world clinical trial to investigate the use of focused ultrasound technology to treat those with opioid use disorder. 


Experimental brain surgery may help some people overcome drug addiction

When her son bounced up the steep stone steps and through the door of the house he shared with his mother and father, Gina Buckhalter was wary. It was no secret that Gerod was a heavy drug user, addicted to opioids for more than half his 33 years.


Addiction treatment had failed. Could brain surgery save him?

After nearly two decades of hardcore drug addiction — after overdoses and rehabs and relapses, homelessness and dead friends and ruined lives — Gerod Buckhalter had one choice left, and he knew it.


Sound waves get Alzheimer’s drug past brain barrier, small study shows

In the first study of its kind in humans, researchers have discovered that it is safe to use sound waves fired into specific areas of the brain to open a protective barrier and clear the way for Alzheimer’s medications.


Alzheimer’s drugs might get into the brain faster with new ultrasound tool, study shows

Scientists have found a way to help Alzheimer’s drugs seep inside the brain faster — by temporarily breaching its protective shield. The novel experiment was a first attempt in just three patients.

Can brain ultrasound treat addiction? A cocaine study may hold answers.

Substance use disorder afflicts many Americans — in 2021, 46.3 million people in the United States age 12 or older were addicted to alcohol or drugs such as opioids and stimulants. Now scientists are studying a promising and surprisingly familiar therapy that can help reset the brain and stem the cravings of addiction.


People Let a Startup Put a Brain Implant in Their Skull—for 15 Minutes

Elon Musk’s Neuralink isn’t the only company making progress on connecting people’s brains to computers. In April and May, surgeons at West Virginia University placed thin strips of a cellophane-like material on the brains of three patients. 


A Hole in the Head: Can a brain implant treat drug addiction?

On a bright summer day in July 2021, James Fisher rested nervously, with a newly shaved head, in a hospital bed surrounded by blinding white lights and surgeons shuffling about in blue scrubs.


Deep brain stimulation may ease opioid addiction when other treatments fail

Doctors at West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute are testing the experimental procedure on patients for whom other treatments didn’t work.


Mars? The next frontier is much closer

What is it about a frontier? Whether it is a continent, the Moon or, today, the planet Mars, a frontier is a powerful motivator that speaks to a drive inside all of us to go further and higher.


Brain surgery may combat opioid addiction

Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, via pacemaker technology may help those battling the addiction, which kills 128 Americans every day.


Can ultrasound be used to fight Alzheimer’s?

t age 61, Judi Polak is five years into a bleak diagnosis: Alzheimer’s disease. But last year she made medical history in a clinical trial, when a team of scientists, engineers and practitioners deployed a novel device to take aim at a big barrier in the fight against her illness. 

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