60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction Explained

60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction Explained

60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction: In a bold move, a 61-year-old man facing Alzheimer’s decided to try an advanced treatment. Even though there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, he wore a special million-dollar helmet. This unique therapy used almost a thousand ultrasound beams aimed at a tiny spot in his brain, as small as a pencil point.

60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction

Meet Dan Miller: A Brave Participant

Dan Miller, the brave individual taking part in this experimental treatment, felt he had nothing to lose. The treatment was led by Dr. Ali Rezai, a neurosurgeon pushing the boundaries of medical science. Dr. Rezai is exploring ultrasound, a tool commonly used for 70 years in medical imaging, as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and drug addiction. 60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction.

60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction

60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction Explained
60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction Explained

Dan Miller was one of three people in Dr. Rezai’s trial at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute in West Virginia. Dr. Rezai let 60 Minutes witness his attempt to use ultrasound to slow down Alzheimer’s cognitive decline.

Brain Scan: A Peek Inside Miller’s Brain – 60 Minutes Ultrasound drug addiction

A scan of Miller’s brain showed red spots, indicating a build-up of beta amyloid proteins, a type of brain plaque linked to Alzheimer’s. These plaques disrupt communication between brain cells. Before the experimental procedure, patients in the trial got an IV treatment of aducanumab, a drug to reduce these plaques.

Drug Challenge: Slow Progress and the Blood-Brain Barrier

Aducanumab usually works slowly when given as an antibody infusion over an hour or two, once or twice a month for over 18 months. This slow progress is because the drugs struggle to get through the “blood-brain barrier.”

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FDA Approval: Traditional Green Light for Lecanemab

In a notable move, the FDA granted traditional approval to lecanemab, an Alzheimer’s drug, in July. This decision followed an accelerated approval in January of 2023.

Revolutionary Approach: Focused Ultrasound and the Blood-Brain Barrier

Dr. Rezai uses focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier. Trial participants wear a special helmet and lie on an MRI table. Inside, they get an IV solution with tiny bubbles. When hit with ultrasound, these bubbles vibrate and gently open the blood-brain barrier, allowing therapeutic drugs to quickly enter the brain.

Precision and Caution: Delivering the Payload Safely

In Dr. Rezai’s words, “We’re delivering the therapeutic payload precisely to the targeted area with remarkable penetration, but cautiousness prevails. We tread carefully to ensure safety, avoiding excessive barrier opening, which could lead to bleeding and brain swelling.”

Patient Experience: Feeling Nothing During Treatment

Surprisingly, despite being awake during the procedure, patients in Dr. Rezai’s trial reported not feeling anything. They underwent the treatment once a month for six months, contributing to the ongoing journey of medical innovation in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

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