Possible breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer's

Over 44 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease - and it is calculated that this number will rise to 75.6 million by 2030 and 135.5 million by 2050. Approximately 750 000 people in South Africa have the disease

Around the world a new case of dementia occurs every 4 seconds and presently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease threatens to bankrupt families, with escalating medication costs and no support to pay for either day-or-full-time care.

According to medical experts, if a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions - amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.

Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons of the brain, and they’re caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, like twisting up a garden hosepipe and water can't flow normally anymore.

Now a team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with what looks like promising solution for removing amyloid plaques.

It involves using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks - a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

Kieno Kammies spoke to Prof. Jürgen Götz - the director of the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR) at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI).

Listen to the full interview below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Carte Blanche’s Devi Sankaree Govender opens up about her money hopes, and fears

Carte Blanche’s Devi Sankaree Govender opens up about her money hopes, and fears

Gushwell Brooks interviews Govender about her attitude to money - her hopes and fears, successes and failures…

Why everyone adores gazillionaire Warren Buffett, most successful investor ever

Why everyone adores gazillionaire Warren Buffett, most successful investor ever

He's giving it all away and still lives in the modest house he bought 1958. There are many reasons to love the world's 3rd richest.

How to grow your small business into a medium-sized one

How to grow your small business into a medium-sized one

Small business guru Pavlo Phitidis discusses strategies for growth that won’t cause chaos.

Why you should never leave your kids inside a hot car

Why you should never leave your kids inside a hot car

Ever forgotten your children in the car? Maybe this will prevent you from doing that ever again.

Why you must own Investec, Anglo American and Sasol shares, according to N-e-FG

Why you must own Investec, Anglo American and Sasol shares, according to N-e-FG

N-e-FG CIO Gerbrand Smit chooses Investec, Anglo American and Sasol as his stock picks for the week. Here’s why…

Why Spur, Barclays and the JSE itself are the hottest investments on the JSE

Why Spur, Barclays and the JSE itself are the hottest investments on the JSE

It’s Stock Pick Monday! Spur, Barclays and JSE Limited – the operator of the JSE – are amongst the best investments right now.

Popular articles
SA braces for horrific fuel price increases as oil hits 4-year high

SA braces for horrific fuel price increases as oil hits 4-year high

It's monstrous! The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the Automobile Association of South Africa's Layton Beard.

Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

The man allegedly attacked the six-year-old inside a toilet cubicle at a Dros franchise in Pretoria on Saturday.

New visa rules a relief for our economy and for jobs, says WC MEC

New visa rules a relief for our economy and for jobs, says WC MEC

The Western Cape government and SA Tourism have welcomed the amendments to South Africa's visa regulations.

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

'She says I'm just waiting for this c**lie to move so I can take the photo'

A caller on the Eusebius McKaiser Show, Zeenat says she was called a derogatory word for Indian on Heritage Day.

'This leaked document is calling a spade a spade'

'This leaked document is calling a spade a spade'

Breakfast Show Host Bongani Bngwa shares his views on the leaked report from the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.