Published on : Feb 24, 2015
As the geriatric pool in the world continues to grow, so does the problem of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia leads to loss of thinking capacity, memory, and creates an absolutely dependency for the patient with time. About 70% of the cases of dementia are that of Alzheimer’s disease. In a recent research scientists have a remarkable breakthrough that suggests reversal of the symptoms with ultrasound. Though there is no cure yet for Alzheimer’s disease, the known facts about the disease are: accumulation of plaques on the brain which play the devious role of neurotoxin.
Researchers at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto opened the blood-brain barrier using microbubbles with an ultrasound using magnetic resonance imaging. This allowed a medical intervention to breakdown the plaques in the brain.
So far, this method has been tested on mice that showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug delivery with the help of ultrasound reversed the memory impairment and a reduced learning ability. Opening the blood-brain barrier did not damage any tissue.
Though this isn’t a cure for the disease, it does show incredible promises of ultrasound treatments that can be used for mitigating the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the brain, helping in improving the life expectancy, and reducing the need to depend on someone.
The positive results on mice means that there is hope for more research and a possibility that the research could be shifted to humans. The human brain is way more complex than that of mice, but only time would tell the impact of this treatment.