A group of researchers says an experiment it conducted on mice has demonstrated that Alzheimer's medications can be efficiently delivered to the brain when encapsulated in tiny particles.
Recently developed Alzheimer's drugs use antibodies to remove a protein that accumulates in the brain. It is believed that the protein triggers the disease. But sufficient supplies of whole antibodies cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier because whole antibodies are too large.
Tokyo Medical and Dental University's Professor Yokota Takanori and others created fragmented antibodies and sealed them in what is called a nanomachine.
The researchers then injected the encapsulated antibody fragments into mice that have Alzheimer's.
The group says results show the use of the nanomachine enabled about 80 times more antibody fragments to be delivered to the brain than the direct administration of fragments did.
It also says the amounts of the abnormal protein decreased by more than three-quarters, and the mice were able to retain their memory better.
Yokota says using the method could make the medications more effective and lower the prices of the drugs. He says his team will continue to do research, so the method can be used to help humans as soon as possible.
The findings have been published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology.