New ultrasound-based technology may help treat Alzheimer’s disease, study finds


Certain age-related diseases have become increasingly prevalent as average life expectancy has increased in many parts of the world. One of them is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is particularly common in developed countries. There is currently no viable cure or technique to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

But now, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in South Korea have conducted a study that has shown encouraging signs. Scientists demonstrated that ultrasound gamma entrainment can help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in this study.

The study method involves synchronizing a person’s or animal’s 30 Hz brainwaves (called gamma waves) with an external oscillation of a specific frequency. Exposing a subject to a recurring stimulus, such as music, light, or mechanical vibration, causes the process to occur spontaneously.

Previous research in mice found that gamma training could prevent the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and tau protein buildups, common signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings of the study have been published in Translational Neurodegeneration.

In this article, the team of scientists from GSIT demonstrated that it is possible to achieve gamma entrainment by applying ultrasonic pulses at 40 Hz.

What the experts say:

Unlike other gamma entrainment methods that rely on music or flickering lights, ultrasound can reach the brain non-invasively and without disrupting our sensory system, according to study co-author and professor Jae Gwan Kim. biomedical engineering assistant at GIST. Therefore, ultrasound-based therapies are more comfortable for patients.

Scientists found that exposing mice to ultrasound pulses for two hours a day for two weeks reduced the concentration of b-amyloid plaque and tau protein in the brain. Apart from this, electroencephalographic analyzes of these mice also revealed functional improvements, suggesting that brain connectivity also benefited from this treatment. Moreover, there was no microbleeding (cerebral hemorrhage) in this process. This shows that the brain tissue has not been damaged.

Conclusion of the study:

The study concludes that this could open a new avenue for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It also has no side effects. Other conditions related to Alzheimer’s disease can also be prevented thanks to this. Although this approach can improve the patient’s quality of life by slowing the progression of the disease, other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, can also be treated, according to Dr. Kim.

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