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Home Industry News Alzheimer’s reversing treatment to start clinical trials

Alzheimer’s reversing treatment to start clinical trials

8th January 2019

Researchers at the University of Queensland developed an ultrasound treatment to reverse Alzheimer’s disease back in 2015. Initial clinical trials ensued, and now the path has been laid for a phase 1 safety trial on a small number of human patients, due to commence in the latter part of 2019, funding permitting. The treatment works by allowing the blood-brain barrier to break down temporarily, allowing Aβ plaques to be flushed from the brain by the microglial cells. No drugs are required in this non-invasive treatment meaning it could be very accessible if trials succeed and it gets to market.
Professor Pankaj Sah, director of UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, said: “The technology temporarily opens the blood-brain-barrier to remove toxic plaques from the brain and has successfully reversed Alzheimer’s symptoms and restored memory function in animal models. The human safety trials are the next step, representing an investment in research that is already underway.”
Chairman of the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research, Professor Jurgen Gotz, said: “The ultrasound waves oscillate tremendously quickly, activating microglial cells that digest and remove the amyloid plaques that destroy brain synapses. The word ‘breakthrough’ is often misused, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach. With an ageing population placing an increasing burden on the health system, an important factor is cost, and other potential drug treatments using antibodies will be expensive. In contrast, this method uses relatively inexpensive ultrasound and microbubble technology which is non-invasive and appears highly effective.”

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