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How Ultrasound Is Changing Alzheimer’s Treatment

According to Santa Clarita senior care professionals, memory loss is often considered the most devastating symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that affects more than 5 million people in the United States 65 and older. A recent study showing that ultrasound restored memory in three-quarters of the mice studied could lead to advancements in treatment. The news comes from Australian researchers who used a type of therapeutic ultrasound to stimulate brain tissue in the animals.

Penetrating the Blood-Brain Barrier

In the study, focused therapeutic ultrasound was used to open the blood-brain barrier, a protective layer in the brain, to activate cells that stimulate the central nervous system. The ultrasound also removed accumulated amyloid-β peptide in the part of the brain responsible for memory in the test animals. It’s believed that an accumulation of this peptide is responsible for AD-related memory issues. The memories of the mice in the study were also tested through a maze test, with three-quarters of the subjects showing an ability to navigate the maze.

No Noticeable Side Effects

The scanning ultrasound used in the study, which is the same type of ultrasound that would be used on humans, produced no noticeable side effects. There was also no damage to the surrounding brain tissue in the mice that were treated with the ultrasound. Such findings suggest that Alzheimer’s patients would be able to receive multiple treatments with the ultrasound without any unintentional damage to surrounding areas within the brain.

Such research is still in the early stages. The next step in the process, according to the team behind the study, is testing on sheep. The team hopes to start testing ultrasound therapy on humans by 2017. While it’s not known if the results from the initial animal study will translate to humans, such research does present hope for Alzheimer’s caregivers in Santa Clarita and their senior loved ones currently living with the disease.

As the primary caregiver for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and need help meeting his or her care needs. For additional support, turn to Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in, hourly, and respite home care in Santa Clarita, ensuring both caregivers and seniors are able to maintain a high quality of life. To learn more, please give us a call at 661.259.9914 and request a complimentary consultation.