A NEW CURE FOR ALZHEIMERS PATIENTS????
Researchers in Australia have found that by using sound waves (non-invasive ultrasound), they could break up neurotoxic amyloid plaques in the brain. Amyloid is a protein that is thought to be associated with memory loss.
Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to move in. Microglial cells are basically waste-removal cells, so once they get past the blood-brain barrier, they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps before the blood-brain barrier is restored within a few hours.
The team reports fully restoring the memories of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks – a maze, a test to get them to recognize new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.
New trials are underway to study sheep and human studies are slated for 2017.