A great deal of research is going on into solving the problem of Alzheimer's disease. It is a major issue with the number of elderly people increasing in most countries. Though young people can suffer from the illness it is perceived as a disease of the aged.
While most work has been done on the chemical and molecular structure of the brain, it seems that a simple treatment has been there all along. The University of Queensland has stumbled onto ultrasound as an effective treatment. First successful on mice, it is now being rolled out for humans.
Waves of ultrasound break up neurotoxic amyloid plaque. The cause of the illness is still there, but the damage done is reversed. Some old memories could still be lost. However, new ones will be kept. This will reduce the need for resources in caring for the elderly who will able to function on their own.
In tests, mice were capable of solving problems that had beaten them before. Decision making is the most important function of the human brain apart from those keeping a person alive. Long term memories are not so critical: though ideally, one would not want to loose these.
It is debated whether the use of ultrasound would improve executive functions of healthy brains. Other diseases also damage the brain and detection of them is difficult. In the future we could all be getting regular ultrasound.
✴ /Health by Ty Buchanan ✴