Navigation Links
The blood-brain barrier: A misunderstood key to finding life-saving cures to brain disease
Date:12/18/2007

ST. LOUIS -- An international team of scientists that includes a Saint Louis University researcher suggest several strategies to propel research for treatments of brain diseases that include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers disease, obesity and stroke in the January issue of the Lancet Neurology.

Their review article, which focuses on surmounting obstacles posed by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), is available in an early online edition of the prestigious medical journal on Dec. 17.

The blood-brain barrier is a gate-keeping system of cells that protects the brain from toxins and lets in nutrients. Because it passes no judgment on which foreign substances are there to treat diseases and which are penetrating the brain to do harm, it locks all of them out. That makes getting drugs into the brain where they can do their work in treating brain diseases difficult.

A big part of our work is raising the awareness about the blood-brain barrier as an intimate part of the disease process, said William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatrics and pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and a member of the research team.

You cant get drugs into the brain or understand brain disease without understanding the blood-brain barrier, which is among our most significant recommendations for future research.

The blood-brain barrier is woefully misunderstood, said Banks, who also is a staff physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis.

The general theme of our review article is the blood-brain barrier is not a brick wall but a regulating interface between the brain and the rest of the body. Look at the brain as an island, where all raw materials have to be imported. The blood-brain barrier is the shipping and communications system that connects the island (the brain) to the rest of the world (the body).

Sometimes the blood-brain barrier lets in things that it shouldnt and doesnt let out things that it should. Learning more about the secrets of the blood-brain barrier system is critical in understanding Alzheimers disease, for instance, because the BBB makes it difficult to target medication where its needed in the brain and wont allow toxic amyloid beta proteins, believed to cause Alzheimers, to drain out of the brain.

Much of Banks work focuses on the function of the blood-brain barrier in regulating the immune system, the bodys natural defense in fighting disease. The cells that make up the blood-brain barrier help the brain and immune system communicate, he explained.

The crash of that communication system can impact diseases including Alzheimers disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis. In the Lancet Neurology article, Banks and his colleagues called for more research to better understand how the blood-brain barrier relates to immune cells.

The article also recommended wider use of state-of-the-art imaging to examine how the blood-brain barrier and the rest of central nervous system interact, particularly in patients who have spinal cord injuries, head trauma and stroke.

Changes to the blood-brain barrier could give important clues about injuries to the central nervous system and the growth of tumors.

The review also called for investigators from various disciplines and who work in different institutions and laboratories to collaborate on blood-brain barrier research to take research from an animal model to patient clinical trials.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Solomon
solomonn@slu.edu
314-977-8017
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Many Parents Share Genetic Test Findings With Kids
2. New Alzheimers findings: High stress and genetic risk factor lead to increased memory decline
3. New MRI finding sheds light on multiple sclerosis disease progressio
4. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
5. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
6. Health psychologists discuss latest research findings
7. Incidental findings found when radiologists take a broader look at renal MRA
8. First significant genetic finding in severe PMS, or PMDD
9. Chair of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Pledges to Recommend Re-evaluation of Recent Glaucoma Findings
10. The Organic Trade Association Hails Preliminary Research Findings Showing Nutritional Benefits of Organic Products
11. Key findings for all veterans seen in depression and suicide study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex ... as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and ... a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two ... Announcement of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Norcross, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... Year” awards today at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in ... who have authored journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital ... area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has ... have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital investment for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), a ... now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, thanks ... Inc. Patients are no longer limited to having ... PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 According to ... Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length ... Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends ... report studies the market for the forecast period of ... USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: