A group of scientists from Queensland University has developed new methods that can help to detect the presence of dementia in older patients. Namely, these methods include a breakthrough ultrasound treatment that could reverse dementia symptoms.

Dementia is an umbrella term for numerous conditions that involve a decline in the cognitive function. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, while other types are Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The latest technological innovations are focused on improving the detection of these diseases as well as improving the quality of life in dementia patients.

For instance, one Japanese company has created so called “QR code nail stickers” that can scan people’s codes by providing key information, such as name or address, when they face difficulty identifying themselves.

According to their findings, the buildup of beta-amyloid, which is a special category of proteins, has been linked to cognitive decline and dementia.

However, this buildup can be disrupted with the non-invasive ultrasound technique for treating Alzheimer’s disease. This method is much cheaper than the alternative treatments and patients will no longer need pharmaceuticals and drug therapeutics to help them manage their lives.

As scientists have explained, the oscillation of ultrasound waves is very quick and it activates microglial cells. These cells digest and eliminate amyloid plaques which have detrimental effects on the brain synapses.

According to them, this non-invasive method opens the blood-brain barrier which enables the process of eliminating toxic plaques from the brain, thus reversing Alzheimer’s disease and restoring memory function. They hope the human safety trials will be done by the end of 2019.

This will bring us a step closer to a non-invasive treatment of Alzheimer’s disease which affects around 400,000 people worldwide. However, it depends on securing funding since a great deal of their work is based on donations.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s usually appear slowly. At the very beginning of the disease, patients seem unable to recall things that have recently happened and put their thoughts into words. These are some of the Alzheimer’s disease symptoms which appear at the early stage of the disease:

  • Loss of recent memories
  • Lack of energy
  • Losing interest in social activities and work
  • Trouble expressing their thoughts and understanding others
  • Coordination problems
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks
  • Mood swings

Having one or a few of these issues doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s disease. Other medical conditions may also cause these problems, for example, thyroid gland problems, drug abuse, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and stress-related health issues.