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Ultrasound Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function

Stashed in: Science!, Brain, Awesome, Medicine, Alzheimer's, yeah, science!, brainy brains, Memory!

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You can restore memories in mice without drugs.

Eric Nakagawa imagines a future where getting these plaques removed will be like going to the dentist!

Whoa, this sounds super promising:

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 move in. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so once they get past the blood-brain barrier, they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps before the blood-brain barrier is restored within a few hours.

The team reports fully restoring the memories of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks - a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

whoa is right!

scratch that one off my list of worries!

guess i can wear antiperspirant again.

Antiperspirant leads to Alzheimer's?

Btw there's still a lot of research left to do but this breakthrough is cause for optimism!

no, because correlation is not causation.  still, the aluminum zirconium in antiperspirant has raised eyebrows.  people with alzheimer's have high levels of aluminum in their brains.

but i like the idea of going to the brain doctor to remove plaque from my filaments when i'm old and forgetful!

Heck, I like the idea of the brain doctor removing plaque from my filaments now.

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