Ultrasound to break up brain amyloid plaques moving to human trials in 2019

Somewhat outside of telecare, but inside our concern with the health of older people, is the exciting news of a novel ultrasound treatment to break up the amyloid plaques in the brain that may be the cause of many dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease. Initially developed at the University of Queensland in 2015, the original objective was to open the blood-brain barrier to facilitate antibody treatment for dementia. Researchers found that in tests on mice, the ultrasound ablation cleared the plaques without any further drugs. Later tests found that the treatment clears both “toxic proteins and restores memory function safely in several different rodent models, including an older mouse model designed to resemble human brains of 80 to 90 years old.” 

Australian government funding is key in helping accelerate development. The first stage in human trials is a phase 1 safety trial, kicking off later in 2019. 

While at least a decade in the future if all goes well in clinical trials, one of the researchers, Jürgen Götz, is thinking larger, towards future personal ultrasound devices which could be used for personal treatment or prevention. New Atlas

An earlier study referenced in MedPageToday summarized results and concerns with a Canadian study. 

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