Lasers could point to Alzheimer’s solution

Between the number of ineffective drugs and clinical trials for Alzheimer’s and the substantial projected increase of the disease by 2025, the chances of finding a cure or prevention for the relentless condition have been looking pretty dismal.

However, a team of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the Polish Wroclaw University of Technology may shed some fresh light on the seemingly dead-end situation. They have created a new technique with multi-photon lasers that could attack clumps of amyloid protein plaques, which are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, reported on Nov. 8.

While chemicals or surgery are currently used to remove amyloid proteins, healthy tissue is often damaged in the process. The lasers in this latest advent can differentiate between destructive proteins in the brain and healthy ones. Healthy proteins are optically invisible, so laser light effortlessly passes through them. The amyloids, on the other hand, absorb some of the light.

The researchers believe that the lasers could not only detect the bad protein cells, but remove them in the future.