Scientists use ultrasound to open brain barrier to treating Alzheimer's

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
A step toward an Alzheimer's treatment? New ultrasound can cuts through the blood-brain barrier to target dementia-linked plaques Areas of the brain involved in memory are difficult to reach with drugs because of a thick wall of cells called the blood-brain barrier  Researchers at West Virginia University used a 'helmet' equipped with ultrasound nodes to 'loosen' the barrier in three women Alzheimer's  It safely opened the barrier for 24 hours before closing up again  No drugs were delivered in the study, but the ultrasound itself may encourage the brain to clean up Alzheimer's plaques  

By Natalie Rahhal Deputy Health Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 10:34 GMT, 3 December 2019 | Updated: 10:44 GMT, 3 December 2019

View
comments

Scientists have taken a step toward treating Alzheimer's by gaining access to hard-to-reach areas of the brain that they believe drugs to repair the disease's damage need to target, a new study reveals. 

There is currently no effective cure and only minimally useful treatments for the devastating memory-loss disease. 

One of the most significant challenges to treating Alzheimer's is the blood-brain barrier, a blockade of dense cells and blood vessels too solid for most drug molecules to pass through. 

But using a specialized ultrasound technique, researchers at West Virginia University were able to loosen the weave of the barrier temporarily and safely in three Alzheimer's patients. 

Though the researchers aren't yet delivering drugs to the memory areas they can now reach, there's some evidence the ultrasound itself may help to reduce Alzheimer's plaques. 

Researchers used an ultrasound 'helmet' to temporarily loosen the blood-brain that blocks Alzheimer's treatments from reaching memory centers in the brain (file)

 Researchers used an ultrasound 'helmet' to temporarily loosen the blood-brain that blocks Alzheimer's treatments from reaching memory centers in the brain (file) 

'We were able to open the blood-brain barrier in a very precise manner and document closure of the barrier within 24 hours,' said Dr Rashi Mehta, study co-author. 

'The technique was reproduced successfully in the patients,

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Concussion sufferers may have trouble reading
NEXT Teenager's memory was wiped OVERNIGHT due to a brain-swelling condition