Researchers have discovered a previously unknown type of neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) which may provide a safe method to administer medication across the blood-brain barrier – a major challenge for doctors seeking to deliver drugs and other therapeutic substances directly to the brain.

The US scientists at Tufts University in Boston found certain neurotransmitters can help lipid-based nanoparticles pass safely through the blood-brain barrier and into the brain. The blood-brain barrier “consists of a blood vessel lining of endothelial cells that keeps foreign molecules from escaping from the blood vessels Prosthetic breast reconstruction outcomes “do not deteriorate over time”, according to a major study of more than 2,200 US patients treated over two decades.

Breast reconstruction has become an essential part of breast cancer care, with an increasing number of patients seeking reconstruction after mastectomy. Among currently available techniques, two-stage, prostheticbased reconstruction with immediate tissue expander placement, followed by exchange for permanent implant, remains the most common form of breast reconstruction performed.

While numerous studies have examined outcomes following implant reconstruction (including rates of acute complications and associated preoperative and operative risk factors) the majority of these studies have been limited by short-term follow-up and/or lack of evaluation of aesthetic outcomes. In addition, only more and entering the brain fluid where they could affect neurons and other brain cells”, noted medicalnewstoday.com. It is “highly selective about the non-native molecules it allows into the brain, and that includes therapeutic substances.”

Co-author Qiaobiong Xu commented: “We can deliver a wide range of molecules by packaging them into the lipid-based nanoparticles without chemically modifying the drugs themselves. We can also achieve delivery across the blood-brain barrier without disrupting the integrity of the barrier.”

The study is published in the journal Science Advances and co-author Feihe Ma added: “It’s simple, effective and potentially broadly applicable – we can modify the container for the drug, and by adding the neurotransmitter-lipidoid, it’s like attaching an address label for delivery into the brain.”

The researchers reported successful delivery into mice brains of: amphotericin B (a small-molecule antifungal drug); a tau antisense oligonucleotide (that inhibits production of tau proteins associated with Alzeheimer’s disease); and GFP-Cre (a gene-editing protein).

Xu summed up: “The power of our method is that it is extremely versatile and relatively non-disruptive.”


Sources: Science Advances and medicalnewstoday.com