Researchers have found out a novel way to treat Alzheimer’s disease. One of the biggest challenges in treating Alzheimer’s disease is the blood-brain barrier. A Research Team led by Jurgen Gotz of Queensland Brain Institute, Australia, was able to send a drug across the blood-brain barrier using a combination of microbubbles and ultrasound waves. They tested the method on mice.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) involves the formation of plaques of beta-amyloid in the brain. In case of other parts, it can be treated easily by sending drugs through the blood stream. But when it comes to AD, this is not possible because of blood-brain barrier, which is a group of closely packed cells that normally protects the brain.
Dr. Hynynen had used a novel method to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier by injecting microbubbles into the brain’s blood stream. These bubbles wiggle against the blood-vessel walls temporarily dislodging the barrier when ultrasound waves excite them. Thus the blood can then leak into the problematic area, helping in treating Alzheimer’s.
Using Dr. Hynynen’s strategy, Dr. Gotz and his team injected microscopic bubbles into mice with Alzheimer’s. It was found that the mice whose blood-brain barrier had been made permeable showed marked improvement in memory. Several types of beta-amyloid tissue in the mice’s brains had reduced in size.