A new discovery at Chalmers University in Sweden could lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s by finding malfunctioning protein aggregates with lasers and removing them with photo-acoustics.
Polish and Swedish scientists working out of Sweden’s Chalmers University have discovered a new way in which lasers may be used to cure Alzheimer’s, as well as Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Their discovery shows that it’s possible to use a multi-photon laser to distinguish between healthy proteins and the protein aggregates thought to be responsible for the diseases.
“Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now. This is a totally new approach and we believe that this might become a breakthrough in the research of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light,” says Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers.
Removing the protein aggregates that cause the diseases will essentially cure the patient; the problem until now has been to identify them properly. By detecting the proteins with the laser, and then removing them by using photo-acoustics, a technique previously used in tomography, they hope to help treat Alzheimer’s quickly and easily.
Until now, the go-to method for treatment has been to use highly toxic chemicals which are dangerous for the patient. The new technique, if successful, would make the chemicals unnecessary, and indeed, the procedure could be completed without the need for surgery or any disturbance of the surrounding tissue.