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A phase 1 clinical trial shows that ultrasound can be used to safely open up a region of the blood-brain barrier for 24 hrs in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, ultrasound was shown to restore memory function of 75% of mice that were treated.
The opening of the blood-brain barrier stimulates the brain’s microglial cells which are able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, the transient opening of the blood-brain barrier may increase the permeability of the glymphatic system, which is one of the major ways amyloid plaques are cleared from the brain.