Peripheral nerve block provides some with long-lasting pain relief for severe facial pain

A new study has shown that use of peripheral nerve blocks in the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) may produce long-term pain relief.

TGN is a condition involving sudden episodes of severe facial pain that significantly reduces quality of life in those affected. When medication fails to control the pain, some patients turn to invasive procedures that require a high level of expertise and can result in long-standing numbness. Peripheral Trigeminal Nerve Blocks (PTNB), a procedure in which a numbing medication is injected at the sites where the problem nerve reaches the face, is a promising alternative to the riskier, ganglion-level procedures, although its efficacy in both short-term and long-term management of TGN has not been well studied.

In a case series in this week’s American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Michael Perloff, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, examines nine patients with TGN treated with PTNB. He finds that all nine had immediate relief of their pain after the procedure, with most reporting that they were pain-free. In addition, six of the nine patients noted continued pain relief from a range of one to eight months following the procedure, with two of them having complete resolution of their pain months after the injections.

Perloff, also a neurologist at Boston Medical Center, sees these results as a promising step for treating patients with TGN. “PTNB can be a simple, safe alternative compared to opioids, invasive ganglion level procedures or surgery.”

These findings appear in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

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Discovery presents treatment hope for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases

There is new hope for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases following a ground-breaking discovery made by an Australian-Chinese research collaboration.

Researchers from the University of South Australia and the Third Military Medical University in China have discovered a signal pathway within cells, and also invented a potential drug that could stop degeneration and actually improve learning and memory in affected patients.

UniSA’s Professor Xin-Fu Zhou and colleagues have been investigating tauopathies — which refers to a class of diseases caused by misfolding of the tau protein inside nerve cells that results in cell damage and eventually cell death.

These diseases include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Motor Neuron Disease, all of which presently have no cure.

Specifically, the team has looked into frontotemporal lobe degeneration (FTLD), a term representing a group of clinical syndromes related to cognitive impairment, behavioural abnormalities and speech disorders.

Professor Zhou says that previously it was unknown how the gene mutation was responsible for causing cell death or damage — referred to generally as neurodegeneration, and dementia in patients with FTLD and other motor neuron diseases. “Right now there is no treatment available at all,” Prof Zhou says. “We have been investigating how these tauopathies (diseases) have some common pathology, including a particular tau protein that plays a critical role in nerve cell function.”

Tau protein is a protein that stabilises microtubules and it is specifically abundant in neurons of the nervous system, but not in elsewhere.

“Our research found that in both the animal model and human brains, the signal of neurotrophins and receptors is abnormal in brains with FTLD,” Prof Zhou says.

“We discovered an increase in the neurotrophin signalling pathway that is related to life and death of nerve cells, known as proNGF/p75, and then found blocking its functions was shown to reduce cell damage.

“Thus, in this paper we not only discovered a signaling pathway but also invented a potential drug for treatment of such diseases.”

Given this strong evidence now available, the next stage is a clinical trial and South Australian biotech company Tiantai Medical Technology Pty Ltd has recently acquired a licence to further develop and commercialise this medical technology.

Professor Zhou says this industry involvement means there is an opportunity to translate the discovery into a treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies.

The paper published in Molecular Psychiatry is a collaborative work between two laboratories led by Professor Xin-Fu Zhou, University of South Australia and Professor Yanjiang Wang, the Third Military Medical University.

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Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes: Hope for inhibitors against amyloid plaques: Designed peptides as potential inhibitors of amyloid plaques

Effective therapeutics to counteract the formation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes are not yet available. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now come a little bit closer to a solution: They have described a new class of designed macrocyclic peptides that are highly potent inhibitors of amyloid formation.

Amyloid plaques, which are protein deposits, play a crucial role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Several teams of scientists around the world are working on finding ways to prevent amyloid plaque formation in the human brain.

The research team of Aphrodite Kapurniotu, Professor for Peptide Biochemistry (TUM) has been working on an idea for some time now in collaboration with the teams of Professor Martin Zacharias (TUM), Professor Gerhard Rammes (TUM Rechts der Isar Hospital) and Professor Jürgen Bernhagen (Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU)). The researchers present now macrocyclic peptides (MCIPs) as potent inhibitors of amyloid formation; they reported their results in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The work has been supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) collaborative research center SFB 1035.

New class of amyloid inhibitors

In its new study, the team presents macrocyclic peptides, developed as a new class of amyloid inhibitors. “We have discovered an MCIP that is stable in human blood plasma and can also overcome the human blood-brain barrier in an in vitro cell culture model,” explains Professor Kapurniotu. She adds: “So far we were ‘only’ able to demonstrate these properties in the test tube — thus further research is necessary. But these are two highly desirable properties for inhibitors of Alzheimer’s amyloid.”

TUM has already applied for a patent for the newly developed macrocyclic peptides. “They could be a good alternative to the currently pursued antibody-based approaches as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s amyloid plaque formation because they are easy to produce, have promising properties and, due to their peptidic nature, they will be significantly cheaper than antibodies,” says Professor Kapurniotu.

“Therefore, further investigations are now planned to verify whether the MCIPs are also effective in in vivo models. Furthermore, the MCIPs could also be suitable as templates for the development of small molecule peptidomimetics (molecules mimicking peptide chains), which might also find application as anti-amyloid drugs in Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes.

The research work was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the SFB 1035.

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Study finds greater public awareness still needed about dementia

Common beliefs and misconceptions in the community about dementia are still proving obstacles to treatment despite a rise in public awareness campaigns, an Australian study has found.

Researchers from Flinders University in South Australia pooled the results of 32 dementia surveys from around the world published between 2012 and 2017 and found that public awareness of the causes of dementia has not changed.

Almost half of the total 36,519 respondents had the common misconception that dementia was a normal part of ageing and was not preventable. The importance of formal educational attainment and management of cardiovascular were acknowledged by less than half of respondents even though regular exercise has been proven as the single most powerful influencer of brain health.

The public also tended to endorse poorly supported risk reduction strategies such as taking vitamin supplements, ahead of more effective but time consuming and energetic strategies, such as exercise regimes.

“We were surprised to find that dementia literacy is still so poor, given how much effort has been put into improving understanding,” said lead researcher Monica Cations.

“The view that dementia is a normal part of ageing with few treatment options is a demonstrated barrier to both preventive health behaviours and to help-seeking and diagnosis in the event that symptoms emerge.”

The 32 surveys were sourced from Europe (12), the United States (11), Asia (7) and Australia (2).

The findings and associated problems are outlined in the paper, “What does the general public understand about prevention and treatment of dementia? A systematic review of population-based surveys,” which has been published by PLoS ONE

There are about 47 million people living with dementia worldwide.

While research has not yet discovered a cure, there is accumulating evidence about the potential to prevent approximately one third of cases of dementia with management of risk factors such as poor educational attainment, hypertension, and depression.

The recently adopted World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan on Dementia urges all countries to implement campaigns to raise awareness about dementia. The plan includes a global target that all member countries will have at least one public awareness campaign on dementia by 2025.

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Bake Off winner says cake recipe helped grandfather’s dementia

The sweetest memory! Bake Off winner Candice Brown reveals how an old family cake recipe brought her beloved grandfather back from dementia for precious moments together

  • Candice, 33, won The Great British Bake Off in 2016 after wowing the judges
  • Her heirloom fruitcake recipe proved hard to resist for the judges during show
  • It wasn’t first time the cake had achieved something remarkable: 10 years earlier it brought her grandfather Fred back to his family from the fog of dementia

Candice Brown, 33 was the winner of the seventh series of The Great British Bake Off

Not many people appreciate the superpower of a scrumptious cake quite like Candice Brown. As the 2016 champion of The Great British Bake Off, she stole the heart of the nation with her quirky reimaginings of traditional British classics and her perfect pout, never without a slick of vixen-red lipstick.

Candice, 33, secured her spot as Bake Off favourite halfway through the competition when she added a surprise tier to her already sizeable botanical-themed cake: a layer of boiled fruit cake, borrowed from her late grandmother Margaret’s – or Marg, as she was known – handwritten recipe book.

The daughter of a pub landlord, young Candice was sent to her ‘incredible’ grandparents at weekends and school holidays, where – joined by her brother, Ben – she’d watch as ‘Nan’, Marg crafted delicious baked treats for them to devour, boiled fruit cake included. ‘I adored them,’ the baker says of her grandparents. ‘My nan was an incredible cook.’

The heirloom fruitcake recipe proved hard to resist for the judges too, seeing the North Londoner sail through to the GBBO semi-finals. But it wasn’t the first time the cake had achieved something remarkable: ten years earlier it brought her beloved grandfather Fred back to his family, as he fought the fog of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Candice recalls: ‘I made it and took it to the care home where he was staying. He took a bite and suddenly, his eyes weren’t grey any more. They were a gorgeous blue colour again. He’d come back to me.’

Despite his diminished memory, Fred’s recollection of his late wife’s cakes, baked countless times over their 60 years of marriage, remained firmly intact.


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Candice says: ‘He’d pause and say, “It’s not as good as my Marg’s!” That’s when I knew he wasn’t gone completely. He was still there.’

The glimmer of recognition encouraged Candice to offer Fred more of his fondest foods.

‘We’d take choc-ices, corned beef sandwiches and scotch – all his favourite things that he loved,’ she remembers, ‘and he’d say, “Ooh, that’s nice.” Then he’d disappear off again.’

Candice as a toddler in her grandfather Fred’s arms, years before he was diagnosed with dementia

Though fleeting, these moments of clarity brought comfort to Candice and her family as at this point, in April 2003 and at the age of 81, Fred’s condition had rapidly worsened: three years after his diagnosis he didn’t recognise his family at times, communication was minimal and he struggled to walk.

Typically, Alzheimer’s – caused by the build-up of ‘tangled’ proteins in the brain – first impacts short-term memory before also compromising long-term memory, motor skills, language and often personality as it progresses.

This was the way it went for Fred. ‘The last thing that went were his earliest memories,’ says Candice. ‘Conversations were few and far between but he’d talk as if he was back working in a bakery when he was 13, and he’d refer to the time when he was in the Navy during the war.

‘We’d speak about Nan, he’d perk up and say “My Marg?” and we’d say, “Yes Grandad, your Marg.” ’

Fred’s symptoms began as far back as 1996, when Candice was 12. But they were diagnosed as neurological illness Parkinson’s – which causes tremors – and the Alzheimer’s was disguised. ‘He was always shaky on his feet because of the Parkinson’s, but he started to get more muddled and confused. He’d forget things, repeat himself over and over, and follow Nan around the house all day.’

Finally, in 2003, came a long-awaited referral to a memory clinic, where MRI scans and cognition ability tests confirmed Alzheimer’s disease.

Candice puts the finishing touches on her baked creations during ‘Botanical Week’ on the show in 2016

‘He deteriorated very fast from that point,’ says Candice. ‘He’d see rats in the fireplace. He was on his hands and knees staring and searching even though we’d tell him there was nothing there. Eventually we learned to just go along with it.’

Then 18, Candice would make weekend trips home from university in Birmingham to join the rest of the family in caring for her grandfather. ‘It meant I could give Nan a break from looking after Grandad. I would have done anything for him.’

Then, one afternoon in June 2005 Grandma Marg went out to the supermarket for the couple’s weekly shop. She never returned.

‘Her body gave up,’ Candice says croakily. ‘She just died. She was tired, she’d had enough. The bottom of my world fell out that day.’

The Browns had to explain it all to a bewildered Fred.

‘We thought, does he understand what we’ve said? Then a little while later he suddenly said, “Marg’s gone, hasn’t she?” ’

Candice’s aunt tried to keep caring for Fred at home. But two weeks after Marg’s death, it became too taxing and he was placed in a local residential home. Within two years, Fred’s Alzheimer’s took a greater hold, with conversations becoming few and far between. After three admissions to hospital for a urinary infection, Fred contracted MRSA. He passed away in hospital on April 20, 2007, aged 87.

Was there a sense of relief? ‘Never,’ Candice says. ‘He was never, ever a burden. But we just thought, OK, he’s with Nan now.’

Ten years later, the sense of loss remains acute for Candice – especially at Christmases and birthdays, and when she bakes Nan’s boiled fruit cake.

Studies show that the risk of dementia may be reduced thanks to healthy lifestyle choices in general, including a diet low in sugary foods, and regular exercise.

So I wonder if Candice is about to ditch the buttercream-clad cakes and biscuits she’s now famous for? Is she heck: ‘Life is short and I don’t want any regrets. I don’t smoke, I stay active, and I know these things keep the brain healthy. But I’ll enjoy my glass of wine. I’ll enjoy a dance with my friends. And I’ll definitely enjoy a slice of cake – just like Grandad did.’

Candice supports Alzheimer’s Research UK – the UK’s leading dementia research charity. See alzheimersresearchuk.org.

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New research focuses on treating non-cognitive symptoms of people with dementia

New research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018 in Chicago focuses on the recent successes and ongoing challenges of drug and non-drug treatments for the non-cognitive symptoms experienced by people living with Alzheimer’s dementia.

While the memory and thinking symptoms associated with the disease are the most well known, it is the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD)—agitation, anxiety, apathy, depression, wandering, hallucinations, insomnia, incontinence, disinhibition—that often cause the greatest caregiving challenges and are the leading causes for placement in assisted living or nursing homes. Left untreated, these symptoms can accelerate decline and reduce quality of life.

At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drug treatments for these symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s dementia. All drug treatments currently used are approved for other indications and prescribed for people with Alzheimer’s “off-label.”

“These underrecognized and undertreated symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are often very difficult to live with and challenging to treat,” said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer. “One of the ‘untold stories’ of Alzheimer’s is the regular occurrence and overwhelming impact of these symptoms on the lives of people with Alzheimer’s, their family members and caregivers.”

“It is very important that as we continue to make advances in treating and preventing the memory and thinking symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, we also focus on therapeutic strategies for the behavioral and other non-cognitive symptoms,” Carrillo added.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends non-pharmacologic approaches such as psycho-social interventions as first-line alternatives to pharmacologic therapy for the treatment of dementia-related behaviors. These therapies include validation therapy, reminiscence and other personalized psychosocial interventions.

For example:

  • Validate that the person seems to be upset over something.
  • Separate the person from what seems to be upsetting.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to potentially reduce irritability and aggressive behavior.
  • Assess for the presence of pain, constipation or another physical problem.

Psychotropic medications (antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and others) may need to be considered when the dementia-related behavior has not responded to non-pharmacologic approaches, especially if it is causing physical or emotional harm to the person with dementia or caregiver(s), however they must be used with extreme care, and must be regularly evaluated to determine the appropriate time of cessation. The FDA found that using antipsychotics to treat dementia-related behaviors in elderly persons with dementia was associated with increased mortality.

Synthetic Cannabinoid Treatment Shows Improvement in Agitation in People with Alzheimer’s

Results of a randomized, double-blind clinical trial suggest that nabilone—a synthetic cannabinoid—may be effective in treating agitation in people with Alzheimer’s disease. “Agitation, including verbal or physical outbursts, general emotional distress, restlessness, pacing, is one of the most common behavioral changes associated with Alzheimer’s as it progresses, and can be a significant cause of caregiver stress,” said Krista L. Lanctôt, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology/Toxicology at the University of Toronto.

Lanctôt and colleagues investigated the potential benefits of nabilone for adults with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s dementia with clinically significant agitation. Over the 14-week trial duration, 39 participants (77 percent male, average age 87) received nabilone in capsule form (mean therapeutic dose=1.6 +/- .5 mg) for six weeks, followed by six weeks of placebo, with one week between each treatment period. In addition to measuring agitation, the researchers assessed overall behavioral symptoms, memory, physical changes and safety. They found that:

  • Agitation improved significantly in those taking nabilone, compared to placebo, as measured by the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (p=0.003).
  • Nabilone also significantly improved overall behavioral symptoms, compared to placebo, as measured by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (p=0.004).

The researchers also observed small benefits in cognition and nutrition during the study. More people in the study experienced sedation on nabilone (45 percent) compared to placebo (16 percent).

“Currently prescribed treatments for agitation in Alzheimer’s do not work in everybody, and when they do work the effect is small and they increase risk of harmful side effects, including increased risk of death. As a result, there is an urgent need for safer medication options,” said Lanctôt. “These findings suggest that nabilone may be an effective treatment for agitation; however, the risk of sedation must be carefully monitored. A larger clinical trial would allow us to confirm our findings regarding how effective and safe nabilone is in the treatment of agitation for Alzheimer’s.”

Note: Marijuana is not approved by the FDA for the treatment or management of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. As medical marijuana use becomes more common, it is important to point out that much about its use in people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is unknown.

Marijuana is, essentially, an untested drug in Alzheimer’s. There is currently no robust, consistent clinical trial data supporting the use of marijuana for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease dementia—nor for related issues. The Alzheimer’s Association believes that more research in this area is needed.

Lighting May Improve Sleep, Mood and Behavior in People with Alzheimer’s

Many people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias experience changes in their sleep patterns, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness. Mariana G. Figueiro, Ph.D., Director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and colleagues tested whether a tailored lighting system could help to improve sleep, mood and behavior in people with Alzheimer’s disease in nursing homes.

“Given that light/dark patterns are a person’s primary cues to the current time, the constant dim light typically experienced by people living in residential care facilities may be an underlying cause of the sleep pattern disturbances so commonly found in this population,” said Figueiro.

To test this hypothesis, over a four-week period, lighting interventions were placed in areas where nursing home residents spent the majority of their waking hours and were left on from wake-up time until 6 p.m. Forty-three (43) residents (31 female, 12 male) participated in the short-term study, and 37 residents (25 female, 12 male) have completed the long-term study so far, all recruited from 10 nursing homes in the New York Capital District, Bennington, VT, and South Bend, IN.

Study participants experienced alternating periods of lighting that provided either high- or low-circadian stimulus for four weeks (short-term study) and six months (long-term study, successive four-week periods spaced by a four-week washout). The circadian stimulus (CS) metric, developed by the Lighting Research Center, characterizes a light source’s effectiveness for stimulating the circadian system as measured by its capacity for acutely suppressing the body’s production of the hormone melatonin (a well-established marker of the circadian system) after a one-hour exposure.

Both arms of the study used either a custom-designed LED light table or individual room lighting to deliver the intervention, depending on where the participants spent the majority of their time. Personal light meters were used to measure the light exposures received at the participants’ eyes. Sleep disturbance, mood and agitation were also assessed using standardized questionnaires.

With the lighting intervention, researchers found that study participants who experienced the high-circadian stimulus showed significant decrease in sleep disturbance, depression and agitation. Positive effects observed in the short-term study continued to improve over the long-term study.

Beyond Anti-Psychotics: Exploring Efficacy and Harms of Z-Drugs for Sleep Disturbance

Many people with dementia have problems sleeping. This affects their quality of life and that of the people who care for them. Non-benzodiazepine hypnotic “Z-drugs,” such as zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon, are often prescribed to help treat insomnia in older adults, but it is thought that they may cause problems such as falls, fractures, and increase confusion. People living with dementia are especially vulnerable and it is not clear whether Z-drugs are particularly harmful for them.

Chris Fox, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Norwich Medical School University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., and colleagues analyzed existing data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, and from three clinical studies of people with dementia. They compared data for up to two years for 2,952 people with dementia who were newly prescribed Z-drugs with data for 1,651 who were not, in order to evaluate the benefits and harms of these medicines.

They found that the use of Z-drugs is associated with a 40 percent increased risk of any type of fracture, with risk increasing for those on higher doses. Z-drug use was also associated with a greater risk specifically of hip fracture. The study did not identify a higher risk of other effects, such as falls, infections or stroke.

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Life Is Short After Dementia Diagnosis, No Matter Your Age

SUNDAY, July 22, 2018 — Your age doesn’t determine how long you’ll live after a dementia diagnosis, new research contends.

“These findings suggest that, despite all efforts, and despite being younger and perhaps physically ‘healthier’ than older people, survival time in people with young-onset dementia has not improved since 2000,” said study author Dr. Hanneke Rhodius-Meester, from VU University Medical Center, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

For the study, Dutch researchers looked at nearly 4,500 people with early onset dementia. Median survival time was six years, but it varied depending on the type of dementia: 6.4 years for frontotemporal lobe degeneration; 6.2 years for Alzheimer’s disease; 5.7 years for vascular dementia; 5.1 years for dementia with Lewy bodies; and 3.6 years for rarer causes of dementia.

But survival times were similar among patients of all ages, whether they were younger or older than 65, the investigators found.

Previous research had suggested survival times after dementia diagnosis ranged between three and 12 years.

The latest findings were to be presented Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association annual meeting, in Chicago. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“While these results still need to be replicated and confirmed, they do highlight the urgency of the need for better treatments and effective prevention strategies,” Rhodius-Meester said in a meeting news release.

More information

The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging has more on dementia.

Posted: July 2018

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Treating dementia with the healing waves of sound

Ultrasound waves applied to the whole brain improve cognitive dysfunction in mice with conditions simulating vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The research, conducted by scientists at Tohoku University in Japan, suggests that this type of therapy may also benefit humans.

The team, led by cardiologist Hiroaki Shimokawa, found that applying low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) to the whole brain of the mice improved blood vessel formation and nerve cell regeneration without having obvious side effects.

“The LIPUS therapy is a non-invasive physiotherapy that could apply to high-risk elderly patients without the need for surgery or anaesthesia, and could be used repeatedly,” says Shimokawa.

Dementia affects about 50 million people worldwide, with 10 million new cases occurring every year. But there are currently no curative treatments available for vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the most common causes of dementia. Also, the cells lining the brain’s blood vessels are tightly packed, forming a blood-brain barrier that prevents large molecules from crossing into the brain tissue. This limits the types of drugs and cell therapies that could be made available to treat dementia.

Shimokawa and his team had conducted previous studies showing that LIPUS improved blood vessel formation in pigs with myocardial ischemia, a condition where there is reduced blood flow to the heart. Other studies have reported that LIPUS increases the production of proteins involved in nerve cell survival and growth, in addition to a role in promoting nerve regeneration. Focusing LIPUS treatment on a region in the brain called the hippocampus, which is involved in memory, has also been found to improve dementia in mice, but the details of how it does this need to be more fully investigated.

The Tohoku University team wanted to find out if whole-brain rather than focused LIPUS is effective in treating mouse models of dementia, and if it was, what was happening at the molecular levels to achieve this.

They found that cognitive impairment markedly improved in mice with conditions similar to vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease when LIPUS was applied to the whole brain three times a day for 20 minutes each time. The mice with vascular dementia received the treatment on the first, third and fifth days following a surgical procedure that limited the brain’s blood supply. The mice with a condition simulating Alzheimer’s disease in humans received 11 LIPUS treatments over a period of three months.

At the molecular level, genes related to the cells lining blood vessels were turned on. Also, there was increased expression of an enzyme involved in blood vessel formation and a protein involved in nerve cell survival and growth.

The researchers conclude that their study, recently published in the journal Brain Stimulation, provides the first experimental evidence that whole-brain LIPUS therapy markedly improves cognitive dysfunctions without serious side effects by enhancing specific cells related to dementia’s pathology.

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