The new Alzheimer's treatment completely restores memory function
Australian researchers have developed a non-invasive ultrasound technology that removes the brain from amyloid neurological plaques. Neurotoxic amyloid plaques are one of the structures responsible for memory loss and decreased cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Your success rate in rat test subjects? 75%.
If a person has Alzheimer's disease, it is usually the result of an accumulation of two types of lesions: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques are located between neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps and forms plaques.
Neurofibrillary tangles are found within brain neurons, and are caused by defective tau proteins that are grouped into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes small filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transport of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, just like when the vacuum tube is twisted.
Around the world, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer's or a related dementia. Finding a way to deal with it has been a struggle. However, most researchers believe that initiating treatment involves eliminating the accumulation of defective beta-amyloid and tau proteins in the patient's brain.
This new treatment developed by the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) of the University of Queensland seeks to eliminate this harmful plaque in the safest way possible.
Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as the use of a particular type of ultrasound called focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively emits sound waves in brain tissue. By oscillating super fast, these sound waves can gently open the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria and stimulates the brain's microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste elimination cells, so they are able to remove toxic beta-amyloid agglomerates that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. (Scientific Alert)
Basically, they are helping the body heal, and the results are fantastic. They completely restored memory function in 75% of mice tested with zero damage to surrounding brain tissue. The mice tested showed improvements in three types of memory tasks: a labyrinth, recognizing new objects and remembering places to avoid.
"We are very excited about this innovation of treating Alzheimer's without using drugs," Jürgen Götz, a team member, said in a news release. "The word" breakthrough "is often misused, but in this case, I think this really changes our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach."
The team expects human trials in 2017.
You can listen to an ABC radio interview with the team here.
You can also learn more from the video below!
Video credits to Natural Remedies YouTube channel