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Crossing the Line: Technique could treat brain diseases

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8:16pm, June 20, 2007

For the first time, scientists have selectively ferried a drug across the blood-brain barrier to treat a neurological disease in mice. The new method could eventually make new treatments possible for a wide range of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

The walls of capillaries that carry blood into the brain control whether molecules larger than a few hundred atoms, such as antibodies and proteins, can pass into the spaces between neurons. This capillary barrier can stymie doctors' efforts to cure neurological diseases because most medicines can't get through.

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