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New study suggests sonic waves could help Alzheimer's patients regain memories

Researchers working with mice found that stimulating their forebrains with blasts of sonic waves helped get rid of protein buildup, a process that might one day be able to help people with Alzheimer's disease.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translation Medicine, showed that mice who had been bred to develop Alzheimer's did better on memory and navigational tests after having several ultrasound "treatments" compared to their counterparts that did not have any treatments, the Los Angeles Times reports. The researchers saw that after the mice received the scanning ultrasound, specialized immune cells in the brain called microglia were activated, and they swept up and disposed of excess amyloid.

Human trials are still a long way away, but researchers are excited about a non-invasive treatment that doesn't require drugs or surgery.