Researchers at Florida International University have developed a technique using electro-magnetic particles to deliver the anti-HIV drug AZTTP directly to the brain and bypass the barrier that keeps drugs in the blood from flowing directly to the brain without opening a patient’s skull. With current methods, more than 99% of antiretroviral medicines used to treat HIV are deposited in other organs before travelling to the brain. Higher quantities (up to 97% more) will be able to reach HIV-infected cells targeting the virus that sits in the brain that can cause inflammation and neurological damage.
Madhavan Nair and Sakhrat Khizroev from FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine have unlocked the potential to also help patients suffering from other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and even cancer by using the same method. Khizroev who co-designed the project explains, ‘We learned to control electrical forces in the brain using magnetics. We pretty much opened a pathway to the brain.’ This pathway could potentially be groundbreaking as the barrier stopping drugs getting directly to the brain has been one of the greatest impediments in internal medicine.