An Unexpected Way to Counteract the Ageing Brain: Science News

In an accidental discovery, researchers appear to have slowed the ageing process in the brains of laboratory mice, using ultrasounds or sound wave therapy.

Dr Robert Hatch, from the University of Queensland, said scientists had used the technique to stop the normal reduction in the structure of brain cells in the hippocampus — an important area for learning and memory — and were now envisioning a future where people could get their brains tuned up like a car.

However, he said the result had initially been a surprising one to the team of researchers.

“We didn't actually envision that this would have the effect it has,” he said.

“I still remember I was doing some data analysis on Thursday night and said ‘this can't be right' — and it was.”


brains_tnDr Hatch said they had been continuing on the same thread as last year's research, where the team had discovered ultrasounds could be used to reverse Alzheimer's in mice.

The team of researchers had expected to confirm the therapy would not damage a healthy brain, which they did.

But then realised they had found something else — a way to slow down the brains ageing process.

“What we found is that by applying the ultrasound to these mice you could slow down or stop the change in the structure of these cells as the animals age.”

The University of Queensland research was published today in the Public Library of Science online journal, PLOS One.

Finding a way to keep the brain ‘forever young'

The team will now examine whether their findings could help stop the brain from declining in learning and memory as people age.

“Our idea is that if you can keep the structure of the brain in a young state, then we should be able to keep the function,” he said.

“So we're currently actually testing that exact idea right now.”

Dr Hatch said the ultrasound worked by activating cells in the brain which were the “immune cells”.

“And you can activate them to help clear out toxic proteins, and our idea is that it's basically helping these cells maintain the brain in a more healthy state.”

Dr Hatch said if they could understand how the brain changed normally, that would help them to work out what to do when something went wrong, and dementia or Alzheimer's developed.

“We then know, ‘ok how do we change what's happening to take it back to a more normal situation?',” he said.

“What we're envisioning at some point down the track is — once it's gone through treatments and approvals and everything — we envision that this would be like a check up for your car.

“So you could then come in, receive a scanning ultrasound treatment and that would act to help preserve the structure of your brain.”

Did you know?

Melatonin has antioxidant properties, and may have an important anti-aging role.

A recent study looked at artificially aged mice to determine the effects of melatonin on aging.  Such mice are used as a model to study the fundamental mechanisms of aging because they develop markers also found in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:

“… [T]reatment with melatonin … was able to reduce oxidative stress and the neurodegenerative calpain/Cdk5 pathway … and … markers of cerebral aging and neurodegeneration … indicating the neuroprotective and anti-aging effect of melatonin.”

50mg-epitalon_tnAlso, the effect of the peptide Epitalon stimulated evening melatonin production and dramatically normalized circadian rhythms of cortisol production in old monkeys.

Epiatlon's benefits go beyond melatonin and cortisol stimulation, such as increasing telomere length and health, and one of the best investments for GOOD HEALTH and LONGEVITY.

Oceans Lab is our favorite source for Epitalon, and you can Read more about Epitalon, here.)


Goncharova, N.D., Khavinson, B.K. & Lapin, B.A. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine (2001) 131: 394. doi:10.1023/A:1017928925177

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