Next Steps, Future Development of FUS Technology in Alzheimer Disease: Ali Rezai, MD


The executive chair of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University discussed the potential of focused ultrasound for patients with AD, as well as key takeaways for clinicians from a recent study. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“For Alzheimer's, there are a lot of patients—numbers are growing, so we need to explore all options, and the blood-brain barrier has been a big problem in neuroscience to safely open, and now we can do it with this new technology. If now we can see why this opening of the blood-brain barrier reduces the amyloid-ß, if that is consistent across the larger parts of the brain, that can be an effective way of clearing these metabolites or these pathological mediators.”

The use of MRI-guided focused ultrasound (FUS) was recently investigated in a study of 10 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), which had encouraging early results. The noninvasive technology offers potential for this population, as it is performed as an outpatient procedure and may provide an option to open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) safely and reversibly.

Ali Rezai, MD, executive chair, Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, West Virginia University (WVU) sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss findings from the small, ongoing study. Being able to safely deliver targeted therapeutics to different areas of the brain would be a step forward not only in AD, but for other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease, Rezai said.

When asked about the direction of future research, Rezai mentioned the need to investigate additional biomarkers in AD, namely tau, and how opening of the BBB may affect them. Adding more clinical trial sites and investigating larger volumes of the brain to better understand why and how amyloid-ß clearance is taking place are also necessitated, he said. 

For more coverage of CTAD 2021, click here.

Rezai A, Ranjan M, Haut M, et al. Longitudinal safety, clinical, and beta amyloid PET outcomes of a multi-center clinical trial of focused ultrasound blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening of the hippocampus, front, and parietal lobes in early Alzheimer’s disease. Presented at CTAD; November 9-12, 2021; Virtual & Boston, MA. Abstract OC26.
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