Navigation Links
The blood-brain barrier: A misunderstood key to finding life-saving cures to brain disease

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
Saint Louis University

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:
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, ... ... two new additions to its industry-leading suite of automated breast density assessment ... North America (RSNA) meeting, November 29-December 4, 2015 (South Hall booth #2377). ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery and ... in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Joshua Kreithen, one of its ... a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon is a global medical device company ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... The successful filing of an Investigational New Drug application (IND) is a ... key industry segment, Regis Technologies has decided to sponsor and participate in an XTalks-hosted ... , Federal law does not allow new drugs to cross state lines until it ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... the assets of DataTrade Solutions Inc., a Healthcare IT consulting, development and support ... the programming and technical experience available within DataTrade to extend the services currently ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... GKhair & Tibolli team members and artists were excited and ... November 8th and 9th at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan Puerto Rico. ... top of the line fashion journalists. The San Juan Beauty Show carries immense credibility ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... November 30, 2015 --> ... "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft Tissue, All Tissue, Dental ... (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", published ... 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period ... data Tables and 62 Figures spread through 167 P ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  PTS Diagnostics, the U.S.-based manufacturer of point-of-care ... A1CNow ® systems, and PTS Detect™ cotinine systems, ... that will propel the company into the mHealth market. ... Europe . The technology is a system that ... smartphones and tablets, and uses test strip technology already ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the development of oral drug delivery systems, announced today ... at up to $50,000,000 with Hefei Tianhui Incubator of Technologies Co., Ltd. ... capsule, ORMD-0801, in China , ... . The agreements were signed at the Israel ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: