Weston Brain Institute grantees first in world to open BBB in Alzheimer’s patients

May 3, 2017

Weston Brain Institute grantees have made history as they used focused ultrasound (FUS) to safely and non-invasively breach the blood-brain barrier (BBB) temporarily in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in a clinical trial.  This represents an enormous step in developing a new way of treating AD.

Source: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Photo by Kevin Van Paassen

In 2013 Dr. Kullervo Hynynen and his colleague Dr. Isabelle Aubert from Sunnybrook Research Institute received funding from our Transformational Research program to develop a focused ultrasound system tailored to opening the blood-brain barrier in humans. An overview of this work can be found here.

In November 2015, Dr. Hynynen and colleagues successfully and safely opened the BBB non-invasively for the first time in a brain cancer patient. The current trial is the first time the BBB has been opened in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

More information, including a press release on the recent trial, can be found here.


Featured articles are linked below:

  1. http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/alzheimer-s-patients-treated-with-ultrasound-to-open-the-blood-brain-barrier-1.3394807
  2. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/feeds/canadian-press/national/focused-ultrasound-could-revolutionize-treatment-of-brain-diseases-researchers/article34882449/