Every year, the number of old men and women that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia increases dramatically. While the doctors have not yet found an effective cure for this medical condition, the medical field is optimistic following a recent study that has delivered remarkable results.
A team of researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute led by Professor Jürgen Götz has discovered the benefits of ultrasound therapy in mice. It seems that exposure to this type of treatment restored old memories in the small rodents. It might not seem like a major medical breakthrough, but the doctors believe that this is a crucial step to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
How ultrasound therapy works
Previous attempts to use ultrasound therapy on mice had been discarded because many scientists believe that this method would bring permanent damage to the brains of the subjects. After obtaining the necessary certifications for this study, Professor Götz and his team of researchers discovered that ultrasounds have beneficial effects on aging brains.
Researchers believe that memory loss associated with the aging process is produced by the reduction of the hippocampal structure, which is responsible for storing memories. The particular result of the Queensland Brain Institute study revealed that ultrasounds maintain the brain’s youth, and subsequently its size.
The financial importance of ultrasound therapy
Scientific studies have shown that the number of US residents who have Alzheimer’s disease increases with almost 1 million every year. Many doctors believe that by 2070, over 5% of the American population will struggle with this medical condition. This fact is worrying especially for the economy and the money invested in medicine.
Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is partially treated with drugs and antibodies. However, few patients can afford this treatment that varies between $20,000 and $120,000 per year. The researchers at Queensland Brain Institute consider that an eventual cure for dementia and memory loss using ultrasound therapy will reduce the costs drastically and become available for a large number of patients.
Earlier studies on Alzheimer’s disease
Professor Jürgen Götz and his team of scientists have dedicated many years of extensive medical research in the quest to find the ultimate cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Their efforts are easy to understand as almost 300,000 Australians are currently struggling with this condition, and their number is on a constant rise.
Previous medical research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was solely focused on medicinal drugs and the expansion of earlier studies, which advocated the use of chemical substances. The ultrasound therapy seems a much safer and healthier alternative to former remedies.
What’s next for Alzheimer fighters?
Despite its recent success, the Queensland Brain Institute has publically announced that their research in finding the perfect treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is only just beginning. Next, the scientists want to test the ultrasound therapy on older specimens of lab rats to determine just how effective the method can become. Whatever the result will be, the fact that one of the humanity’s worse ailments is close to being cured is good enough news for millions of people out there.