The blood-brain barrier has long been an obstacle for modern medicine’s hopes to directly treat or affect the brain’s tissue. This is a natural defense the human body has to prevent substances passing from the blood stream that circulates through the brain’s blood vessels into the neural tissue. Normally, this prevents toxins or other ingested substances from affecting the brain. When doctors are hoping to use drug therapy to help a patient, however, the blood-brain barrier prevents the hoped for chemical action.
New research from the University of Toronto, however, has demonstrated a method by which the blood-brain barrier can be temporarily lowered. Canadian researchers used ultrasound to open up the blood-brain barrier, safely and without negative effects upon patients. The ultrasound technology studied used very low frequency waves on the frontal lobe of Alzheimer’s patients to determine, and then prove, the technique could be used safely and without invasive results to open the barrier.
This is particularly exciting news for Alzheimer’s researchers, as it presents the possibility of being able to pursue drug therapy that might improve the condition of patients with cognitive dementia. As people around the world live longer, the incidences of mental diseases and conditions are rising, putting doctors in the position of needing to find treatments. As yet, no effective treatment that can cure Alzheimer’s or other severe dementia conditions exists.
Good news for Alzheimer’s; a new development may make drug therapy possible in the future #HealthStatus
- 1Researchers demonstrate new focused ultrasound technique to treat alzheimer’s patients.
- 2Researchers used ultrasound to open up the blood/brain barrier in patients.
- 3This is the first study of its kind to show the safety and feasibility of this technique.