Research ArticleAlzheimer’s Disease

Scanning ultrasound removes amyloid-β and restores memory in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model

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Science Translational Medicine  11 Mar 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 278, pp. 278ra33
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa2512

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Can ultrasound restore memory?

Transgenic mice with increased amyloid-β (Aβ) production show several aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, including Aβ deposition and memory impairment. By repeatedly treating these Aβ-forming mice with scanning ultrasound, Leinenga and Götz now demonstrate that Aβ is removed and memory is restored as revealed by improvement in three memory tasks. These improvements were achieved without the use of any therapeutic agent, and the scanning ultrasound treatment did not induce any apparent damage to the mouse brain. The authors then showed that scanning ultrasound activated resident microglial cells that took up Aβ into their lysosomes. These findings suggest that repeated scanning ultrasound may be a noninvasive method with potential for treating Alzheimer’s disease.