Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment
Breakthrough is a common word used in medical research, and is often a misused term that leads nowhere. However, the Alzheimer’s breakthrough is worthy of this term, thanks to Australian researchers. The researchers have concluded that memory loss and a decline in cognitive function for such patients is due to structures called neurotoxic amyloid plaques. They used a noninvasive ultrasound technology to clear these structures in
lab mice, with results that show great promise.
What Happens to the Brain in Alzheimer’s Disease
In Alzheimer’s, a patient demonstrates two types of buildup of lesions known as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The plaques become dense clusters of sticky protein. The neurofibrillary tangles are caused due to defective tau proteins clumping together and becoming an insoluble mass. The result of all this is the disruption of the transportation of vital nutrients to the brain.
Worldwide, there are over 50 million people inflicted with this debilitating disease. But, it doesn’t stop there as entire families are affected as they try to help their loved ones, either financially or physically. The numbers are staggering and they keep growing but this team from the University of Queensland seem to have found a solution to treat it without invasive forms of treatment or medications.
Instead, the team has focused on a noninvasive ultrasound technology to clear those plaques. It’s a specific type of ultrasound known as a Focused Therapeutic Ultrasound but simply, or not so simply, beams sound waves into the brain tissue. In doing so, the blood brain barrier becomes gently opened. This barrier is an actual layer meant to protect the brain from bacteria as well as to stimulate certain cells into activation. These cells are known as microglila cells, which are there to remove waste. By activating these cells, they are also capable of clearing out the toxic clumps mentioned above, which are responsible for the worse symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The Azheimer’s Breakthrough Treatment Findings
The promising news which was published in the Science Translational Medicine reports 75% of mice tested had their memory function fully restored without any damage to the surrounding brain tissue. The mice were given three tests that involved memory tasks, including maneuvering their way through a maze, recognizing new objects, and remembering places to be avoided.
Higher animal models will also be tested in the near future, before the team applies this technology on humans, which is scheduled for 2017.
For more information on the report, please click on the following link: Science Translational Medicine.