December 4, 2023

Novel deep-brain ‘superfiber’ could mean better Alzheimer’s imaging, diagnoses

McKnights Senior Living

An artificial strand of hair could help researchers better understand how memory loss occurs in Alzheimer’s patients.

Such a novel “superfiber” could be implanted into the brain to provide imaging of tissues in a less invasive way than conventional methods, researchers behind the technology state.

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating problem,” fiber co-developer Xiaoting Jia, associate professor at Virginia Tech, said in a statement.  “I want to build tools and try to assist neuroscientists. The brain is very nuanced with more than 80 billion neurons, and we’re still behind on fully understanding how the brain functions and how diseases are formed.”

The goal is to use the fiber to image and analyze the build-up of amyloid beta proteins in the brain’s hippocampus. Such toxic proteins are thought to be a significant driver of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

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