More MS news articles for September 1999

Foundation Awards Cleveland Clinic Scientist $40,000 to Develop Model of Blood-Brain Barrier

Tuesday September 7, 12:17 pm Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
CLEVELAND, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alternatives for Research and Development Foundation has awarded a $40,000, one-year grant to Cleveland Clinic researcher Damir Janigro, Ph.D to validate a model of the blood-brain barrier. Ideally, such a model will facilitate development of new pharmaceutical agents and may provide insight into the origins of certain chronic neurological diseases.

Dr. Janigro and colleagues have created what is known as the "dynamic in vitro" model of the blood-brain barrier. The dynamic in vitro blood-brain barrier model has been adopted by researchers at other institutions for a variety of clinical investigations currently underway.

"A great deal of money is spent each year to develop drugs to treat diseases of the brain," said Dr. Janigro, director of cerebrovascular research at the Cleveland Clinic. "Quite often, these drugs work well in vitro, but they may not work in animals or humans because they cannot cross the blood- brain barrier. Other drugs, such as penicillin, are quite toxic to the brain but are fortunately kept out by the barrier. This research will help us to better understand this process."

Dr. Janigro considers the blood-brain barrier to be an important factor in the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. He suggests the failure of the barrier to prevent the entry of nutrients into the brain or allow the exit of potentially toxic substances could influence the onset of these conditions. He is also interested in studying blood-brain barrier failure during cardiopulmonary bypass and the effects of radiation and cerebral infarction on the barrier.

The Alternatives for Research and Development Foundation was established in 1994 to support alternatives to the use of animals in biomedical research, testing and education. The organization is based in Jenkintown, Pa.

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, founded in 1921, integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education in a private, non-profit group practice. At the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida in 1998, nearly 1,000 full-time salaried physicians representing more than 100 medical specialities and subspecialties provided for 1,735,484 outpatient visits and 49,893 hospital admissions for patients from throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. In 1997, The Cleveland Clinic Health System was formed. It now comprises The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Ashtabula County Medical Center, Health Hill Hospital for Children, Euclid, Fairview, Hillcrest, Huron, Lakewood, Lutheran, Marymount and South Pointe hospitals. With 2,957 staffed beds, the Cleveland Clinic Health System offers broad geographic coverage, a full continuum of care, improved quality and lower cost of care to Northeast Ohio residents.

The Cleveland Clinic's website address is:

SOURCE: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation