We’re always fans of scientific breakthroughs, especially when they’re homegrown, and that’s just what we have to start the week off, with one of those coming out of Queensland for Alzheimer’s research.

A group of researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered something that could potentially help Alzheimer’s patients, and it won’t need any drugs to be effective.

The technology being used is ultrasound, with the researchers using this to activate cells in the brain to go on the offensive against the disease, among other things, removing the plaque that degrades and destroys the brain synapses.

“The word ‘breakthrough’ is often mis-used, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach,” said Professor Jürgen Götz, Director of the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research.

“The ultrasound waves oscillate tremendously quickly, activating microglial cells that digest and remove the amyloid plaques that destroy brain synapses.”

“With our approach the blood-brain barrier’s opening is only temporary for a few hours, so it quickly restores its protective role,” said Götz.

Currently, the tests and research have been conducted on mice, with the next research moving to a different animal ahead of human clinical trials, which according to Götz is at least two years away.