Researchers from Canada have come up with a new way in dealing with cancerous brain formations or Alzheimer’s disease. In order to further increase the efficiency of treatment, ultrasound is used to breach Hematoencephalic barrier.
Also knows as blood-brain barrier, or simply BBB, this bodily function allows passage to water, gases and other nutrients to the brain, while keeping harmful bacteria and viruses from wreaking havoc inside the brain. The hematoencephalic barrier consists of endothelial cells, which are being held together by a series of strong junctions. These specialized brain cells also allow the flowing of electrical current from the brain to other organs. The junctions that connect the cells also possess a high electrical resistivity.
Basically, the blood-brain barrier is like a shield, capable of holding back legions of microscopical threats. Hence, the brain may be viewed as the only organ that is, typically, impervious to infections caused by either viruses or bacteria. Still, there are a couple of circumstance in which, microscopical formations managed to breach the barrier, resulting in series of infection that are both severe and very difficult to cure. Usually, in such cases, our own antibodies are too big to cross the threshold between the body and the brain. There are, of course, a couple of antibiotics that can be used to penetrate the BBB and help stem cerebral infections.
This, of course, is the first concern when developing new drugs capable of taking the fight inside the brain’s blood vessels. But it seems that a couple of Canadian scientists have figured out how to do that. Ultrasound is used to breach hematoencephalic barrier, without producing additional damage to the system itself.
Lately, there have been a lot of talks concerning invasive and non-invasive procedures employed to cure certain disorders. With this non-invasive method, bubble, filled with gas are able to safely breach the barrier and get to the brain in one piece. Also, in order for the bubbles to reach their destination, they will be guided using an ultrasound device.
The method has already been tested, with a great deal of success, on a 56-year-old woman who has brain cancer. Conducted clinical trials have shown that the device boosts overall efficiency of drug-delivery mechanisms.
Lead investigator and neurosurgeon, Doctor Todd Mainprize, argued that this method is what we need in order to develop new chemo drugs, capable of targeting certain areas of the brain. Following the successful deployment of this new method, 10 more cases will undergo this procedure.