Drug delivery technique could treat Alzheimer's

Posted on 21 March 2011

A new technique for delivering drugs directly to the brain could be used to treat people with Alzheimer's disease, which could be beneficial for people considering ways to pay for care.

Researchers at Oxford University have managed to use particles called exosomes as "drug vehicles" that can cross the blood-brain barrier.

While the research is still at an early stage and may be several years away from testing on people, the technique could in theory also be used to treat Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy and motor neurone disease.

Dr Matthew Wood, the lead scientist behind the research, said the results were "dramatic and exciting".

"It's the first time new 'biological' medicines have been delivered effectively across the blood-brain-barrier to the brain," he said.

"This is the first time this natural system has been exploited for drug delivery."

The Alzheimer's Society warned recently that one-third of GPs in London are unable to diagnose dementia or provide sufficient help for sufferers of the condition.

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