I recently came across an article published in the Globe and Mail titled, Ultrasound shows new promise as Alzheimer’s treatment.

The article describes how scientist are using ultrasound technology to break apart the neurotoxic amyloid plaques that typically result in memory loss and cognitive decline in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

While still in the early clinical trial stages, scientists have found that the use of the non-invasive focused beams of an ultrasound almost completely cleared the plaques in 75 per cent of the animals, without any apparent damage to brain tissue. As such, this promising new discovery could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and restore memory. More detailed information about the research can be found here.

Research initiatives such the one outlined above are particularly important given the increasing prevalence of dementia in today’s society. A recent fact sheet published by the World Health Organization (the “WHO”) indicates that as of 2015, 47.5 million people are living with dementia worldwide.

Unfortunately, as a result of increased life expectancies and an aging boomer population, the number of dementia cases is expected to increase exponentially in the years to come. The WHO estimates there will be approximately 75.6 million people suffering from dementia by 2030, and 135.5 million by 2050.

Accordingly, dementia is quickly becoming a global health concern. Last week, the WHO hosted its first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva. The conference drew researchers, health officials and ministers from more than 80 countries around the world.

As such, it is likely that we will see an increase in government spending and a rise in research initiatives in this area, such as the one outlined above, in the months and years to come.

Thank you for reading,

Ian Hull