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Gov. Northam Visits Charlottesville Foundation to Consider Offering Funding

Posted: Updated: Jun 05, 2018 05:35 PM
Governor Northam visited a foundation in Charlottesville on June 5 Governor Northam visited a foundation in Charlottesville on June 5
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation The Focused Ultrasound Foundation
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Governor Ralph Northam is considering funding for a foundation in Charlottesville that’s impacting the medical industry right now.

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is working on a treatment that has been known to kill tumors in the body.

Employees say the work is taking the medical industry by storm, and they could use money from the state now more than ever to help advance the foundation’s efforts.

“The state has been critical,” says Neal Kassell the chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “Actually, they've been the catalyst in driving this field."

The foundation say it’s now or never to get its research out the door and into doctor's offices.

On Tuesday, June 5, Governor Northam visited the foundation to consider providing state funding.

"The way it works is compared to using a magnifying glass to focus beams of light,” says Kassell. “But with focused ultrasound, instead of using an optic lens, we use an acoustic lens."

The process works by using tiny beams to pinpoint medical problems in the body. The surrounding tissue remains untouched.

The foundation says Northam needs to be up-to-date on the studies.

"He's new to the game,” says Kassell. “Although he's a neurologist, he innately understands what we're talking about, we want him to be sure that he knows the state of play.”

Through testing, physicians say ultrasound technology can help make differences in many medical issues.

"Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, OCD, and depression,” says Kassell."

Researchers say patients can be treated by the beam energy within two hours.

"The procedure is done from outside the body,” says Jessica Foley, the chief scientific officer at the foundation. “So, obviously, they are going to be talked to during the procedure. They're going to be awake."

With research to back it all up, the foundation is hopeful to get more state funding and work to improve millions of lives.

“Patients get back to work really quickly,” says Foley. “They don't have to spend time in the hospital."

Employees with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation say they hope to continue testing to see the effects the treatment could have on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases in the next year.