Scientists deliver Alzheimer’s drug directly into brain

March 21st, 2011 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 21 (IANS) Scientists have found a new way to deliver Alzheimer’s drugs directly to the brain, potentially opening the way to a more effective treatment for sufferers.

Efforts to treat the disease have been hamstrung over 50 years by the difficulty of administering drugs to the brain to slow or halt its progression.

But University of Oxford researchers switched off a gene linked to Alzheimer’s in mice brains by relying on tiny particles naturally released by cells, called exosomes, the journal Nature Biotechnology reports.

The exosomes, injected into the blood, are able to carry a drug across the normally impermeable blood-brain barrier to the brain where it is needed, according to the Telegraph.

But researchers cautioned that although the results were significant and promising, a number of steps must be taken before this form of drug delivery can be tested in humans.

Matthew Wood of Oxford’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, who led the research, said: “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.”

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