By Donna Westfall
Credit to: Science Alert, BEC CREW, March 18 2015
Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.
50 million people suffer with Alzheimers Disease (AD) worldwide That’s a staggering number and there’s no vaccine or preventive measures currently available.
However, rejeuvenating the aging brain and clearing the build-up of defective beta-amyloid proteins from a patient’s brain has had a 75% success rate in experiments involving non-invasive ultrasound on mice.
A team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with a pretty promising solution by using 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.
What is amyloid plaque?
It is the sticky buildup which accumulates outside nerve cells, or neurons.
Is there a relationship with high cholesterol and Alzheimers Disease?
An association between cholesterol and the development of AD was suggested in 1994 and since then, research has confirmed a link between cholesterol and the development of AD. A high cholesterol level in mid-life is a risk for AD and some say statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs), reduce this risk. Statins act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol. But be aware of the side effects of statin drugs and do your homework.
Is Alzheimers Disease hereditary?
Yes, it can be. There are two categories of genes that influence whether a person develops a disease: (1) risk genes and (2) deterministic genes. Researchers have identified Alzheimer’s genes in both categories. Researchers believe that the damage begins up to a decade before symptoms appear.
Scientists believe that for most people, the disease has genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. People whose parents or siblings have the disease are at a slightly higher risk of developing the condition.
Just as great a risk is head trauma because a traumatic brain injury creates large amounts of beta amyloid, which can later form into the damaging plaque that can develop into AD.
More women than men develop AD. They are at greater risk after menopause because of the decrease in estrogen, which protected the brain.
5 Surprising Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Taking benzodiazepines (meds for anxiety and insomnia) for more than three months was associated with up to a 51% increase in Alzheimer’s disease.
Ways to Decrease Alzheimers Risk:
Eat a healthy diet.
Don’t smoke or quit smoking
Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol
Get adequate sleep
Challenge your mind by stimulating it with reading, challenging leisure activities. Keep learning new things.
The good news:
The team from QBI reports that with a 75% success rate in restoring memory to the mice there was zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue.
After conducting tests on larger animals, the team hopes to get human trials underway in 2017.