Friday, May 17, 2024
Friday, May 17, 2024
HomeHealthNew Ultrasound Treatment Shows Promise for Alzheimer's Disease

New Ultrasound Treatment Shows Promise for Alzheimer’s Disease

A groundbreaking treatment involving ultrasound technology is offering hope to those battling Alzheimer’s and severe drug addiction. Developed by Dr. Ali Rezai, a neurosurgeon at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute in West Virginia, this innovative approach has shown promising results in early trials.

Dan Miller, a 61-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, volunteered for Dr. Rezai’s experimental procedure, which utilizes focused ultrasound to target a tiny area in the brain. The treatment, conducted once a month over six months, involves wearing a specialized helmet and receiving an IV solution with microscopic bubbles. The ultrasound temporarily opens the blood-brain barrier, allowing therapeutic drugs to penetrate the brain more effectively.

The first patient to receive the implant was Gerod Buckhalter, who battled drug addiction for over 15 years. The seven-hour surgery involved a nickel-sized hole in the skull, with a thin wire and electrodes placed deep inside the brain. Electrical pulses from the device, adjusted remotely, aim to suppress cravings and regulate behavior.

Out of the four patients who underwent the implant surgery, two, including Buckhalter, have remained drug-free since their operations. The non-invasive approach using ultrasound technology offers a less risky alternative to opening the skull.

In a new trial, Dr. Rezai and his team are treating addiction by directing ultrasound beams at the reward center in the brain, known as the nucleus accumbens. This one-hour procedure aims to observe how cravings and anxiety change in response to ultrasound.

Early results indicate success, with 10 out of 15 patients in ultrasound clinical trials remaining completely drug-free. Dave Martin, a participant in the trials, reported a life-changing experience after the procedure.

Dr. Rezai is expanding his ultrasound therapy to treat 45 more addiction patients and is exploring applications for other brain disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity. Despite potential risks, he emphasizes the need to push forward for the benefit of those facing Alzheimer’s and addiction, stating, “It’s here, so why wait 10, 20 years? Do it now.”


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