Alzheimer’s Disease :: Gold nanoparticles and radiation may halt Alzheimer’s

A team of researchers from Chile and Spain has claimed that a combination of gold nanoparticles and radiation may halt or slow Alzheimer’s disease progression without harming healthy brain cells.

According to their study, to be published in the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters, the technique – a type of molecular surgery – has the potential to destroy beta-amyloid fibrils and plaque – hypothesized to contribute to the mental decline of Alzheimer’s patients.

Using test tube studies, the scientists attached gold nanoparticles to a group of beta amyloid fibrils, incubated the resulting mixture for several days and then exposed it to weak microwave fields for several hours. The energy levels of the fields were six times smaller than that of conventional cell phones and unlikely to harm healthy cells.

The fibrils subsequently dissolved and remained dissolved for at least one week after being irradiated, indicating that the treatment was not only effective at breaking up the fibrils but also resulted in a lower tendency of the proteins to re-aggregate.

The same approach also holds promise for treating other neurodegenerative diseases that involve protein aggregation, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, said lead researcher Marcelo J. Kogan, adding ,the approach is similar to that of another experimental technique that uses metallic nanoparticles to label and destroy cancer cells.

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