New Model of Blood-Brain Barrier May Aid in Predicting Therapies Able to Best Treat Patients, Scientists Say

New Model of Blood-Brain Barrier May Aid in Predicting Therapies Able to Best Treat Patients, Scientists Say
A cellular model that simulates the blood-brain barrier — a membrane that protects against viruses or other insults entering through the blood stream — may help in understanding how potential treatments for neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s could better cross that barrier to reach the brain and central nervous system, its creators at Purdue University report in a news release. The blood-brain barrier is made of specialized brain and blood vessel cells designed to protect the brain from harmful substances. And it does keep most unwanted molecules from entering the central nervous system, but it is not impermeable. The blood-brain barrier allows the passage of substances that are important for the brain’s survival, such as glucose and oxygen. But disease treatments are often blocked. Research advances in the neuroscience field are in a position where there’s the possibility of significantly easing the burden of nervous system disorders. But drug discovery, development and translation still poses many challenges, slowing treatment development. One is the lack of a cell-based model that can predict the ability of new chemical compounds to pass through the brain’s protective barrier. Several cell culture models of blood-brain barrier have been described, but results on the model’s permeability and accuracy — how well it represents  
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