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Sunday, January 13, 2008

 

Rabies Virus Helps Deliver Drugs into the Brain

‘One of the greatest challenges neurologists face is successful delivery of drugs to the brain. This is because a special filtering layer of tissue, called the blood brain barrier, protects the brain and spinal cord. The barrier acts like a molecular sieve, allowing only properly sized molecules through. This means that any medication needing to reach the brain (for example, to kill a brain tumor) needs to be small enough, and even then, it is difficult to target the drug to specifically reach the brain.

Kumar and his colleagues from Harvard Medical School have developed a potentially revolutionary drug delivery method, taking advantage of a known master infiltrator of the brain: the virus responsible for rabies, also known as the rhabdovirus. Rabies viruses travel from the site of infection (a local wound bite) to the nerves, through which it gains access to the brain. [..]’




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