Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

WATCH: Curing Medical Conditions With Sound and Light

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 04/24/16

Even novelist John Grisham is getting behind this early stage medical technology

John Grisham has written many novels, among them including The Client, The Rainmaker and The Pelican Brief. Now he has a new one, The Tumor. And no, that’s not a joke. He wrote it to draw attention to something called high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)  (or sometimes MRgFUS, for magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound) because he’s such a believer in its potential.

Focused ultrasound is an early stage medical technology — in various stages of development worldwide — being used to treat a range of diseases such as cancerous tumors, Parkinson’s disease, fibroids and pain. It uses ultrasonic energy to target tissue deep in the body without needing to make incisions or use radiation. Essentially, it’s a sound therapy and the fundamental principle is like using a magnifying glass to focus sunlight on a specific spot to generate burning heat. Each individual beam of energy passes through tissue with no effect, but at the focal point, where the beams converge, there can be a thermal or mechanical effect.

Focused ultrasound has already been used in other parts of the world like Israel, Canada and parts of Europe and Asia, but it’s relatively new in the United States. In this TED Talk, Dr. Neal Kassell, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Virginia, and author John Grisham, talk about the technology and its potential to transform the treatment of many medical disorders. Be sure to catch the testimony of a women who’s been suffering from Parkison’s disease — it’s a powerful thing to watch.

Health and Wellness
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
ascension of Jesus
Philip Kosloski
Was Mary present at the ascension of Jesus?
Philip Kosloski
Why Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Divine Praises
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the Ascension and Pentecost?
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
Francisco Serrano and Scott Peter
Cerith Gardiner
Need a smile? Watch these friars boogie in their backyard
Infant Jesus of Prague
Philip Kosloski
Pray this 9-hour novena for an urgent need
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.