Recently, medical scientists discovered something interesting about Alzheimer’s: it could be transmittable through medical procedures. Even everyday dental work could increase a patient’s chances of contracting Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s causes a build up of neurotoxic amyloid plaques, which eventually erodes the patient’s memory. If, they reasoned, there were some method to decrease that build up some function could be restored.
Scientists looked at various methods they could employ to try and reduce or remove that buildup. The problem is, it’s all very close the brain. If they make a mistake there, the patient could suffer in other ways. The treatment that came out of Australia focuses on using a non-invasive procedure that guides ultrasound into the brain. The pulses break the plaque down.
The plaque buildup isn’t like the kind on your teeth. It causes the neurofibrils in your brain to tangle, which misfires signals and leads to reduced function. Mice with this buildup were gauged to have recovered up to 75% of their full memory function.
Plaque buildup is only half the mystery, and the brain me be to blame for the other half. The brain uses proteins to repair itself, so the plaque causes the brain to cease that function. There is a drug currently in testing that allows for the production of the enzymes responsible for that repair. That could halt or reverse the long term effects some patients suffer from.
It’s likely that in the future, both of these methods will become part of the mainstream treatment regimen for Alzheimer’s patients.