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Ultrasound Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 current seniors will die with the condition or another dementia. And while we’re still a long way from a cure, there’s one encouraging treatment set to begin human trials in 2017: ultrasound therapy on amyloid plaques, which clump around neurons and are believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s.

Back in 2015, Australian researchers found the sound waves generated by ultrasounds cleared amyloid plaques (pictured) in mice, 75 percent of which performed better on memory tests afterward. There was no damage to the surrounding tissue, and the treatment could be much cheaper than drugs that perform similar functions, reports The Wall Street Journal. Of course, duplicating the results in humans is a much harder endeavor, thanks to our thicker skulls and more sophisticated brains. Still, researchers are optimistic about the long road ahead.