More MS news articles for April 1999

'Microbubbles' may help treat spinal cord injury

Thursday April 22 6:30 PM ET

NEW YORK, Apr 22 (Reuters Health) -- Tiny "microbubbles" may someday be used to deliver drugs to sites of spinal cord injury, bypassing the usual problems of getting drugs past the body's natural defenses and into the brain and spinal cord, according to the results of promising new experiments in rats.

The studies show that microbubbles, microscopic bubbles coated with fats, are attracted to spinal cord injury sites, and congregate there. "This suggests that microbubbles might be used to carry drugs directly to the site of spinal cord injury," according to a statement issued by the editors of the journal Neurosurgery.

In the May issue of the journal, Dr. Inam U. Kureshi, of the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, and colleagues show that microbubbles injected into the tail veins of rats migrate to the site of spinal cord lesions.

The authors also note that the pattern of microbubbles attraction to the injury changed over time. Early after injury, they congregated in the center of the injury, but later were found mostly at the outer areas of the spinal cord lesion. The team suggest that the microbubbles may migrate to the fastest proliferating cells in the cord at each stage following injury. The microbubbles may therefore be suitable as drug delivery devices that can deliver drugs to different regions of the injured site at various times after spinal cord injury.

Kureshi's team conclude that the next step will to study this possible effect in rats.

SOURCE: Neurosurgery 1999;44:1047-1053.