Graphic of people and alcohol glasses
Help shape a brighter future for those struggling with alcohol consumption
While alcohol serves various roles in our lives, from celebration to relaxation, issues with its consumption can rapidly intensify into alcohol use disorder, causing emotional distress and physical harm. These challenges are widespread, and innovative treatment approaches are needed. Enter low-intensity transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS), an emerging non-invasive technique targeting specific brain regions linked to alcohol use disorder. 
This method, known as 'neuromodulation,' holds promise in restoring the dysfunctional brain circuits underpinning alcohol use disorder. This pioneering research is taking place at the University of Plymouth.
Your participation as a volunteer is indispensable in advancing the development of these ground-breaking treatment. 
Join us in pioneering a solution for a healthier tomorrow.
Recruiting now
  • Do you have a problem with drinking alcohol?
  • Do you regularly drink more than you intend to? 
  • Does drinking alcohol have a negative impact on your life, your career or your family?
  • Do you identify as someone with an alcohol use disorder or is alcohol dependent?
  • Have you sought help from your GP for alcohol use?
  • Have you been diagnosed as an alcoholic or alcohol dependent?
Answered yes to at least one of these questions? You can take part by volunteering for this study.
Even if you are in recovery, if you have suffered from alcohol misuse in the last year, YOU can help in the development of future treatments.
Brain Stimulation Lab
For this research study we will be recruiting up to 60 participants in total. Please note, you should be aged between 20-60 years to participate in this study.

Participating in this study involves...

  • Questionnaires about your alcohol use, mental health and wellbeing
  • Four testing sessions over ten weeks including:
    • MRI brain scans
    • Ultrasound brain stimulation sessions.

In recognition of your contribution, you will receive...

  • an amazon voucher worth up to £130
  • travel expenses reimbursed via an Amazon voucher up to £10
  • a picture of your brain.

Will I personally benefit from ultrasound brain stimulation?

While some participants may experience temporary symptom relief, such outcomes are not assured. This study seeks to ascertain whether any benefits arise, making your involvement crucial in expanding our understanding of this treatment's potential for alcohol use disorder. Your participation will also facilitate the refinement of methodologies for future investigations in this field.
Please complete the eligibility questionnaire to apply (5-10 minutes). A member of our team will be in contact with you once the questionnaire has been received.
An ultrasound to change brain activity
Ultrasounds have been used in different clinical settings for decades. Well known for monitoring pregnancies at low intensity, high-intensity ultrasound, on the other hand, is also used to treat certain tumours in the body. 
Transcranial ultrasound stimulation uses ultrasound at low intensity to induce changes in specific areas of the brain with pinpoint accuracy, giving it the potential to help treat mental illnesses, as well as neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. It can change the way some brain areas behave, potentially leading to long-term beneficial changes.
It is non-invasive, and has been shown to be safe and reversible in more than 200 people that have taken part in our previous study.
Leading the way in Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation
The University of Plymouth's pioneering research in transcranial ultrasound stimulation has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people with mental health conditions as well as neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Elsa Fouragnan is a leading authority on transcranial ultrasound stimulation research in the UK, and is recognised internationally. Her lab is one of the few in the UK to apply TUS in humans.
This research is hosted at the University’s Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) – the most advanced multi-modal brain research facility in the South West. 
Photograph of Dr Elsa Fouragnan