Researchers at the University of Lund in Sweden have used a technique called optical photothermal spectroscopy (O-PTIR) to study protein structures within nerve cells without using the function of the nerve cell, as other imaging techniques do, which can affect the structures under study. Results of the work may result in a better understanding of, and potentially an effective treatment for, Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers have been able to use the new method to image neurons affected by early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in mice before the death of the nerve cells, something that is important when mapping the disease mechanisms. Oxana Klementieva believes that the new technology can also be used to study protein structures related to other diseases that affect the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body dementia and frontal lobe dementia.

Read more from the University of Lund and find the study in Advanced Science.