Lasers Might Zap Away Alzheimer’s
A new study from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the Polish Wroclaw University of Technology found that photo therapy (lasers) may cure neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease affect millions of people worldwide with devastating consequences. Patients suffer from loss of memory, loss of nerve function, and sometimes even loss of life. A ground breaking study, published in Nature Photonics, has researchers hopeful their findings will change the way these diseases are currently treated.
Locating Harmful Proteins Using Lasers
The research team has found a way to locate specific harmful proteins that cause these neurodegenerative disorders. Using lasers to find these proteins may enable doctors to locate and destroy them without damaging surrounding brain tissue.”We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light” says Piotr Hanczyc of Chalmers University of Technology. “Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now.”
Right now, researchers have only found a way to locate those harmful structures, not a way to successfully eliminate them. The harmful proteins need to be removed for a patient to be cured. Researchers are hopeful that photo acoustic therapy may be used to remove these proteins without damaging the surrounding brain tissue.
Changing Treatment Options
If destroying these proteins using a laser treatment is possible, it could mean eliminating existing treatment options that include chemicals and surgery. Some chemical treatment options are highly toxic and can be harmful to patients who undergo them.
The study is a huge step forward in changing the way neurodegenerative studies are currently treated and will hopefully pave the way to a cure.
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