Researchers at West Virginia University used a 'helmet' equipped with ultrasound nodes to 'loosen' the barrier in three women Alzheimer’s, Daily Mail reported.
According to most scientific theories, the cause of the development of Alzheimer's disease is plaques of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, which accumulate in the brain and disrupt the connection between neurons, because of which a person begins to lose memory and cognitive abilities. All this leads to the development of the classic symptoms of senile dementia over time.
It turns out that it is necessary to somehow destroy these protein accumulations for the successful treatment of this yet incurable disease. But this is the main difficulty, because the brain is well protected from intrusions by the so-called blood-brain barrier, which does not allow foreign substances to pass through the blood. That is why there is an insignificant amount of drugs that can penetrate directly into the brain.
Scientists have proposed a device - a helmet that can affect the brain with ultrasound.
Using a specialized ultrasound technique, researchers were able to loosen the weave of the barrier temporarily and safely in three Alzheimer's patients.
“We were able to open the blood-brain barrier in a very precise manner and document closure of the barrier within 24 hours,” said Dr Rashi Mehta, study co-author. “The technique was reproduced successfully in the patients, with no adverse effects.”
The purpose of the experiment was exclusively penetration through the blood-brain barrier, that is, the development of the technology. No drugs have yet been injected into the patient’s brain - this will be carried out later. Scientists could now penetrate the blood-brain barrier - the main obstacle to the development of a variety of medicines for senile dementia, which are being developed by numerous research teams.