NYC Healthcare News

Scientists to develop new MR imaging techniques for brain study

February 22, 2016

According to lead scientist Dr Matthew Wood of Oxford's Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, ???These are dramatic and exciting results??It??s the first time new ???biological?? medicines have been delivered effectively across the blood-brain-barrier to the brain??This is the first time this natural system has been exploited for drug delivery.??? He explained that over years, ???The major barrier for these drugs is delivery??This problem becomes even greater when you want to reach the brain. The blood-brain barrier - which stops most things in the blood stream from crossing to our brains - is much too great an obstacle??We??ve shown that a natural system could be exploited to deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier. We believe we can use this same technology for Alzheimer??s, motor neurone disease, Parkinson??s and Huntington??s.??? Safety tests would be needed before the technique could be used on people, he added. The team expects to start trials on humans in another five years.

Needless to add that the Alzheimer??s Society welcomed the findings but said more research was needed to see if the method would be effective. Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the charity, said, ???In this exciting study, researchers may have overcome a major barrier to the delivery of potential new drugs for many neurological diseases including Alzheimer??s??The blood-brain barrier protects the brain from harmful chemicals but also makes it difficult for drugs to reach the target cells. If this delivery method proves safe in humans, then we may see more effective drugs being made available for people with Alzheimer??s in the future.???

Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said, ???This is innovative research, but at such an early stage it??s still a long way from becoming a treatment for patients??Designing drugs that cross the blood brain barrier is a key goal of research that holds the promise of improving the effectiveness of Alzheimer's treatments in the future.???