Ultrasound could cure dementia without any side effects: Waves activate blood vessel and nerve cell growth in the brain, study finds
- Reduced blood flow prevents brain cells receiving oxygen and nutrients
- These are needed for people to think, learn and remember effectively
- Nerve cell death and damage is one of the main causes of dementia
- Treatment could benefit patients without the need for invasive therapy
- Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK and more than five million in the US
Ultrasound waves could cure dementia without any side effects, new research suggests.
When given to mice with the condition, ultrasound activates genes linked to blood vessel formation and nerve cell growth, a study found.
Reduced blood flow is thought to trigger diseases like Alzheimer’s due to brain cells not receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need for thinking, learning and memory.
Nerve cell death and damage is one of the main causes of dementia.
The researchers believe ultrasound treatment may also cure humans of dementia, which affects around 850,000 people in the UK and more than five million in the US.
Lead author Dr Hiroaki Shimokawa, from Tohoku University, Japan, said: ‘The therapy is a non-invasive physiotherapy that could apply to high-risk elderly patients without the need for surgery or anaesthesia and could be used repeatedly.’