Nanotechnology for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
There is currently no treatment to prevent or modify the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative dementias. Of the many obstacles to achieving the goal of prevention and cure of AD, we have identified two that can potentially be overcome with the latest developments in nanoscience. Firstly, the challenge of an easily available early diagnostic test can be met by the use of nanoparticles with superparamagnetic properties as imaging agents, tagged with appropriate ligands, for MRI and the newly emerging magnetic particle imaging (MPI). Secondly, nanoparticles, because of their ability to cross the brain’s protective barriers, can be harnessed as drug-delivery systems to deliver novel therapeutic agents directly to the site of pathology in the brain. This collaboration between clinical neuroscience and nanoscience therefore has the potential to transform the diagnostics and therapeutics of neurodegenerative disorders.
Prof Sachdev AM is Scientia Professor of Neuropsychiatry at UNSW Sydney (UNSW), Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW, and Clinical Director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Australia.