Alzheimer’s disease can be a devastating illness that not just affects the person with the condition but can put a family into some trying times. The worry of making sure your loved one is always safe is one of the biggest concerns for family members.
Having Alzheimer’s has so many negative things that change simple everyday functions such as remembering where you live. For those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or know someone who does there is a new form of treatment that has shown positive results for combating the disease.
A group of Australian researchers discovered a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques. Neurotoxic amyloid plaques structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. A recent article published at ScienceAlert.com talks about how this treatment is used and how well it works. Here is some of what they wrote.
“If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions – amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.
Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons of the brain, and they’re caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, just like when you twist up the vacuum cleaner tube.
As we don’t have any kind of vaccine or preventative measure for Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects 343,000 people in Australia, and 50 million worldwide – it’s been a race to figure out how best to treat it, starting with how to clear the build-up of defective beta-amyloid and tau proteins from a patient’s brain. Now a team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with a pretty promising solution for removing the former.
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 activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.” Read the Full Story
A cure for Alzheimer’s appears to be on the horizon and hopefully with this new technology bring a good fight to combat Alzheimer’s disease and make it a thing of the past for humanity.