Bypassing the Blood-Brain Barrier by a Nose

The blood-brain barrier prevents the delivery of many potential neurodegenerative disease therapeutics to the brain. However, the good news is that there is a secret way to bypass this barrier and it happens to be right under your nose. Therapeutics that can be absorbed by the olfactory bulb can be delivered directly to the brain. The challenge is actually getting the therapeutics to be absorbed by the olfactory bulb. However, new research led by Dr. Massimiliano di Cagno from the University of Southern Denmark and Dr. Barbara Luppi from the University of Bologna, Italy may have solved this problem. Drs. di Cagno and Luppi developed liposomes and polymers that were successfully taken up into the olfactory bulb and subsequently showed sustained release over a period of at least three hours. Use of these liposomes and polymers may enable direct delivery of drugs to the brain, which has the additional benefit of minimizing the side effects that can come from oral administration. On a related note, in case you didn’t catch it the first time, click here to read Prize4Life’s coverage of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s 7th Annual Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration Conference held in San Francisco, California, which also discussed the benefits of bypassing the blood-brain barrier using nasal drug delivery.

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