Nanoparticles breach blood-brain barrier as possible Alzheimer's treatment

Brain tissue treated with lipoprotein nanoparticles (right) show fewer amyloid-β deposits.--Courtesy of ACS Nano

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have developed nanoparticles capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier that could potentially help to clear amyloid-β proteins, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease. The nanoparticles, which are designed to act like high-density lipoproteins--known as "good" cholesterol--in binding to the amyloids, reduced the deposits by 40% in the cortex and 64% in the hippocampus in a study in mice. There's still more work to do, though, the scientists say, as only 0.4% of the injected dose ended up in the mice's brains. Any blood-brain-barrier breach is a success, but they aim to increase this dose to make it a viable therapy for Alzheimer's. Story | Abstract

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