Gold is newest weapon in battle against Alzheimer’s
Scientists may have found a way to destroy beta-amyloid fibrils and plaque–thought to be possible contributors to the mental decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease–using gold nanoparticles and microwave fields. Recent research on the subject published in the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters reveals that scientists attached gold nanoparticles to a group of beta-amyloid fibrils. The mixture was then incubated for several days and exposed to weak microwave fields for several hours. Researchers claimed that the energy levels of the fields were six times smaller than an average cell phone and thus unlikely to harm healthy cells. The result: fibrils dissolved and remained dissolved for one week after being irradiated. Not only was the initial treatment successful, but there also was no tendency for the proteins to re-aggregate. Protein aggregation is also involved in two other brain diseases, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. So far, only lab testing has been done. Clinical benefits are yet to be determined.
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