Antibodies could cross blood brain barriers in primates, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine (Wednesday 5 November 2014).
Joy Yu and colleagues have shown that therapeutic antibodies can successfully cross the blood-brain barrier in primates and reduce levels of a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The antibody reduces amyloid-beta levels, which is a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, by binding with receptors and enzymes in the brain to pass the blood-brain barrier.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘The blood-brain barrier acts as a protective layer by stopping some things from passing into the brain from the blood. However, this protection can cause problems for scientists developing drugs for the treatment of neurological diseases, including dementia. These researchers have investigated attaching a potential treatment to a molecule that can pass through the barrier, therefore using this as a sort of passport into the brain. Showing that this works in primates is one step closer to using this technology for treatments in people.
There are very limited drugs available for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and there is currently no cure for dementia. More research is now needed to see if this also works in the human brain, and whether the drug that makes it into the brain works as an effective treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease.’