Elisa Konofagou, a bioengineer at Columbia University, believes ultra sound technology could become be a vital component in treating and perhaps curing degenerative brain diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. One big problem associated with treating these diseases today is associated with the blood/brain barrier…a chemical shield of sorts that protects the brain against chemicals in the blood. Unfortunately, it also keeps out many drug treatments. Konofagou believes ultrasound waves could be one key to turning the blood/brain barrier on and off. She envisions that one day people seeking treatment for such diseases might be wearing ultrasound helmets that help drugs easily enter affected areas of the brain with few side effects. These include drugs that could also replace radiation as treatment. With support from the National Science Foundation, Konofagou has tested her theory on mice and has had very good results.
Provided by the National Science Foundation
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