Doctors at the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute in Morgantown have performed a procedure that they say may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, which currently has no effective treatments.
“The procedure involves the patient laying down on a MRI table, and then a helmet comes over their head that delivers ultrasound waves into the brain. When you couple these ultrasound waves into the brain with an injection, of what we call micro bubbles, these micro bubbles start oscillating, and they open up the blood-brain barrier,” says Dr. Ali Rezai, executive chair of the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.
The goal of the procedure is to reduce the build-up of germs and toxins inside that blood-brain barrier and to hopefully allow the clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s to be improved as well.
The first patient to take part in the non-invasive trial is a 61-year-old nurse who has early-stage Alzheimer’s. Additional patients are expected to participate in the study soon.
Doctors said the potential benefits of the treatment will take several years to fully evaluate.