Mission and Vision

Sonostics mission is to develop, and make widely available, medical device technology which slows and/or prevents the numerous health complications which arise in older adults due to the age-related decline in cardiac output.

Over the adult years spanning age 20 to age 90, cardiac output falls by up to 50%. As a result, oxygen and nutritional flow to all of the tissues of the body decline significantly, resulting in reduced metabolic activity. This decline is not due to heart failure, but to the atrophy of the soleus muscles.

The soleus muscles are deep postural muscles located in the lower legs and are responsible for pumping fluid from the lower body back up to the heart. The fatigue resistant contractile ability of these muscles is maintained through sustained use during activities such as squatting or toe standing. While children and young people commonly perform these types of activities, older individuals seldom undertake these types of activities. The result is that, as we age, our soleus muscles lose their ability to perform their critical pumping function.

When the soleus muscles no longer function properly, body fluids (blood and interstitial fluid) body fluids pool into our legs when we are sitting or standing, rather than being returned to the heart. As a result, cardiac output decreases, and the blood pressure in our vascular system declines. Steep drops in blood pressure when sitting or standing (postural hypotension) is very common among older adults, and leads to reduced blood flow to the brain.

Reduced brain blood flow results in memory loss, muscle coordination difficulties, deficits in executive function (ability to plan, make decisions, concentrate on a task, follow directions)- a set of symptoms commonly referred to as “age-related cognitive decline.” Cognitive impairment progresses over time and can result in dementia if the individual has a sufficiently long life. With the aging of the American population, dementia is approaching epidemic status.

Alzheimer’s prevalence

In addition to age-related cognitive decline, insufficient venous return to the heart and the corresponding low cardiac output leads to numerous other significant age-related health issues, including: non-healing wounds, peripheral neuropathy, drug resistant hypertension, Macular degeneration, osteoporosis, sleep apnea; attention deficit disorder, as well as hearing impairment.

Our vision is to eliminate the numerous health conditions associated with chronically low cardiac output. Our initial focus will be on reversing the cognitive impairment experienced by 22% of those over age 65, which will both improve quality of life for millions, as well as significantly reducing the risk that these individuals will ever develop dementia.