Unfortunately, despite the rather strongprogress in the development of medicine and means of treatment, there are still diseases that mankind cannot cope with. However, this does not mean that you do not need to look for drugs. And not so long ago, a group of doctors from Japan in the course of studying Alzheimer's disease for the treatment of this ailment proposed using a laser, which will, in fact, “burn out” the areas damaged by the disease in the brain.
Why does Alzheimer's develop
According to modern ideas, one ofThe reasons for the development of the disease may be a process of deposition of a protein called "amyloid" (or rather, its subspecies "beta-amyloid") in the brain. Proteins can “stick together” into groups, forming the so-called amyloid plaques. As a result of this, there is a disruption in the functioning and functioning of cells, degeneration of cells of the central nervous system and, as a result, inhibition of cognitive functions (that is, memory, thinking, and so on).
This is interesting: a "cocktail" of young blood helped stop the development of Alzheimer's disease.
However, artificially created amyloid proteinsquite widely used, what is called "outside the body." For example, as a framework for growing cells or tissues. Moreover, often after growing the frame becomes unnecessary. And this means that it needs to be destroyed somehow, without damaging the resulting tissue. And scientists have such technologies. Therefore, it seemed logical to the Japanese to adapt these technologies to treat the disease.
How to cure Alzheimer's
A group of researchers from the University of Tokyoand Osaka University has proposed using a free-electron laser operating in the far infrared. Without going into details, we can say that this laser is powerful enough to destroy protein, but its power is not enough to “burn out the brain”.
A free electron laser can beused to break the bonds between amyloid protein structures, ”says Professor Koichi Tsukiyama, one of the authors of the work. We wanted to demonstrate that such lasers can be used not only in the laboratory, but also in order to help people.
The process is not so much at the coreinnovative method. In order to destroy the protein, you need to cause damage to its structure. The simplest example is frying eggs in a skillet. In fact, by heating, we destroy the structure of the egg white, causing it to curl. Scientists want to use something similar in this case. The only problem is to preserve the brain tissue. Therefore, heating, as you know, will not work. Here the laser came to the rescue.
During a series of experiments (so far only atlaboratory culture of cells) it was found that laser exposure destroys the structure and hydrogen bonds in clusters of the DFKNF peptide. This peptide is responsible for, so to speak, "maintaining the general form" of the protein, being something like its "skeleton". Moreover, the laser is capable of cleaving the DFKNF peptide into separate parts, which excludes its restoration in the future. Well, the most interesting thing: "open the skull" for such a procedure does not have to. A laser can penetrate deep into tissue with little or no surgical intervention. Of course, it is too early to talk about the invention of a new treatment technique, but scientists from the land of the rising sun are extremely optimistic and want to continue their research.
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