Finding treatment for Alzheimer’s without causing brain trauma

Not remembering the name of the person you met just a few minutes ago or constantly searching for the car keys you had in your hand only moments ago are normal occurrences of the fast-paced lives most people lead. For older New Haven, Connecticut, residents, forgetfulness could signal the onset of a much more serious situation than merely a fast-paced life.

The causes and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease continue to elude doctors and researchers, so when a treatment method shows promise, it makes headlines. A team of researchers has demonstrated success in the use of ultrasound methods to improve the delivery of drugs to the brain by loosening plaque. 

Although the experiments have, so far, been limited to mice, researchers are encouraged by the results. Other researchers have cautioned that targeting the brain with sound waves might cause brain injury, so further study of the technique is necessary.

This report of a promising method to improve treatment of Alzheimer’s disease illustrates how the desire to come up with a cure for an illness or to treat a life threatening medical condition must proceed with caution so as to do no additional harm to a patient. New medical procedures may lead to physician error unless doctors receive adequate training using the new techniques.

Surgical procedures, doctor prescribed medications and other medical treatments intended to help in a patient’s recovery have the risk of causing additional harm. This is particularly true when the medical care is directed at the brain. A physician error could result in a patient’s permanent disability and the need for long-term care.

Families who have a loved one that has suffered from a brain injury that might be the result of medical malpractice should consult with an attorney for legal advice and to learn about the victim’s right to compensation.

 

Source: Chemical & Engineering News, “Alzheimer’s Treatment Could Go Acoustic,” Michael Torrice, March 11, 2015

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