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

dnt 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.


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

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