Ultrasound-Mediated Bioeffects in Senescent Mice and Alzheimer's Mouse Models


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Ultrasound is routinely used for a wide range of diagnostic imaging applications. However, given that ultrasound can operate over a wide range of parameters that can all be modulated, its applicability extends far beyond the bioimaging field. In fact, the modality has emerged as a hybrid technology that effectively assists drug delivery by transiently opening the blood-brain barrier (BBB) when combined with intravenously injected microbubbles, and facilitates neuromodulation. Studies in aged mice contributed to an insight into how low-intensity ultrasound brings about its neuromodulatory effects, including increased synaptic plasticity and improved cognitive functions, with a potential role for neurogenesis and the modulation of NMDA receptor-mediated neuronal signalling. This work is complemented by studies in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a form of pathological ageing. Here, ultrasound was mainly employed as a BBB-opening tool that clears protein aggregates via microglial activation and neuronal autophagy, thereby restoring cognition. We discuss the currently available ultrasound approaches and how studies in senescent mice are relevant for AD and can accelerate the application of low-intensity ultrasound in the clinic.
amyloid, long-term potentiation, low-intensity ultrasound, mechanosensory receptor, neurogenesis, neuromodulation, NMDA receptor (NR), senescence, Tau
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