AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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New Model May Help Science Overcome the Brain’s Fortress-Like Barrier

Scientists have helped provide a way to better understand how to enable drugs to enter the brain and how cancer cells make it past the blood brain barrier. The brain is protected by the near-impermeable blood brain barrier, a fortress which protects the brain but which also prevents the treatment of brain diseases, including brain tumours. Dr Zaynah Maherally and team at the University of Portsmouth have developed a model that mimics the blood brain barrier, which could pave the way for better, more efficient and reliable tests of drugs to treat brain diseases.

Dr Maherally said: “The blood brain barrier is strikingly complex and notoriously difficult for scientists to breach. Its role, to protect the brain, makes it difficult for most drugs to make their way into the brain to treat brain tumours.

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