Researchers Find Ultrasound Removes Alzheimer’s Plaque in Mice
In the news today, there have been several articles about an incredible treatment that may help patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The test conducted at the University of Queensland, has been announced in an article by Gerhard Leinenga and Jurgen Gotz.
During some exploratory research, they found that repeated focused ultrasounds on the brains of infected mice significantly cleared the amyloid plaque tangles that accompany Alzheimer’s disease. Their report indicates up to 75% of the plaque was reduced in treated mice. Those mice then showed marked memory improvement in several tests.
While they stress it is early stages, that there are still years of testing before it would be tried on humans, it would be impossible not to be excited by this finding.
A Non Invasive Treatment!
First it’s non invasive. No drugs used that may or may not cause negative side effects. I’m certainly not a scientist, but it seems less likely there would be side effects since no chemicals are placed in the body. Second, the fact that it actually removed that much of the tangles in the brain is beyond encouraging.
Nevertheless, they are watching for side effects. Researchers will also investigate whether the ultrasound triggers something else that then causes the effect. Right now they see that the treatment stimulates immune cells called microglia. It seems reasonable then that the immune cells would remove the plaque. But no doubt there is more going on than that.
One of the reports says that a next step includes testing on sheep, with their bigger, thicker skulls, to see it the ultrasound can be effective then. There is good news on that front too, in that they expect to have results later this year. It’s encouraging to know those finding will be so close behind.
I’m so excited by this news! It seems to be a very positive step. To think it had such amazing results, without drugs, it wonderful. Because of that it seems like there would surely be less side effects. For anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s, I imagine we would all be thrilled if it reduced the severity, slowed its onset, or shortened the length of the disease. A cure or prevention is the ideal, but any improvement would be remarkable to us.
You can read more about it in my article here in Jaquo Magazine.