Scientists may have paved the way towards a cure for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (AKA mad cow disease) by using lasers in photo therapy.
According to researchers, it is possible to distinguish groups of proteins believed to cause the diseases from other, well-functioning proteins, by using multi-photon laser technique.
"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," , says Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers University of Technology.
"We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light."
Until now, the problem has been the difficulty to detect and remove the harmful proteins. But scientists hold high hopes that that photo acoustic therapy - which has successfully located malfunctioning proteins - may be used to remove them.
At present the proteins are treated with chemicals, both for detection as well as removal. But, these chemicals are highly toxic and harmful for those treated.
With multi-photon laser, the chemical treatment - and surgery that accompanies it - would be unnecessary. Due to this discovery it might, thus, be possible to remove the harmful protein without touching the surrounding tissue.
Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the Polish Wroclaw University of Technology, published their findings in the journal Nature Photonics.