Scientists Able to Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms in Mice With MRI-Guided Ultrasound

Scientists Able to Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms in Mice With MRI-Guided Ultrasound
shutterstock_152525405Researchers at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto were able to reverse Alzheimer’s disease symptoms in mice with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-guided focused ultrasound. Recent evidence has shown that MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound can briefly open the blood-brain barrier, allowing for an efficient transport of drugs into the brain when used with a microbubble contrast agent. The microbubbles are able to vibrate while passing through the ultrasound beam, opening the blood-brain barrier, and in conjunction with the ultrasound increasing neuron quantity and length of dendrites. The research team led by Kullervo Hynynen, Ph.D. examined the effect of MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound on the hippocampus of transgenic (TgCRND8) mice. Mice suffering from this genetic mutation have been found to have more plaque in the hippocampus. Trangenic mice also have memory and learning impairment, similar to Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Using the ultrasound with the micro bubbles, the researchers were able to treat the mice's hippocampus. Results showed that the ultrasound was able to improve transgenic mice’s cognition and spatial learning, possibly triggered by reduced plaque and increased neuronal plasticity because of the ultrasound. The researchers found that the treatment did not cause either tissue damage or negative behavioral
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