It's possible to distinguish the clumps of proteins believed to cause the diseases from well-functioning proteins by using a laser imaging technique
If these clumps are removed, the disease is effectively cured
The laser technique could now offer a means of removing the lumps without surgery or the toxic chemicals currently used
By Emma Innes
Lasers could be used to cure diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, a new study suggests.
Researchers say they have made a discovery that may allow them to eradicate Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease using light therapy.
Swedish and Polish scientists have discovered it is possible to distinguish clumps of the proteins believed to cause the diseases from the well-functioning proteins in the body by using a laser imaging technique.
Lasers could be used to cure diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, a new study suggests Lasers could be used to cure diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, a new study suggests
Dr Piotr Hanczyc, of Chalmers University of Technology, in Sweden, said: ‘Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now.
‘This is a totally new approach and we believe that this might become a breakthrough in the research of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
‘We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light.’
If the protein clumps are removed, the disease is, in principle, cured. The problem until now has been detecting and removing the clumps.
More...New drug to relieve Parkinson's psychosis: Breakthrough could offer better quality of life for thousands who suffer hallucinations
Deaths from prostate cancer fall by 20% in 20 years thanks to better treatment
The researchers now have high hopes that light technique, which is already used for scans such as CT scans, may be used to remove the malfunctioning proteins.
Today amyloid protein clumps are treated with chemicals, both for detection as well as removal. These chemicals are highly toxic and harmful for those treated.
With the use of a laser, the chemical treatment would be unnecessary, as would surgery.
Researchers say they have made a discovery that may allow them to eradicate Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease (pictured) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or mad cow, disease using light therapy
Due to this discovery, it might even be possible to remove the harmful protein without touching the surrounding tissue.
These diseases arise when amyloid beta proteins are clumped in large lumps so they start to inhibit proper cellular processes.
Dr Hanczyc said: ‘Different proteins create different kinds of amyloids, but they generally have the same structure.
‘This makes them different from the well-functioning proteins in the body, which can now be shown by multi photon laser technique.’
The findings were published in the journal Nature Photonics.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2487249/Could-LASER-zap-away-Alzheimers-Parkinsons-CJD.html#ixzz2jjF6TvT6