Extensive frontal focused ultrasound mediated blood–brain barrier opening for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: a proof-of-concept study

So Hee Park, Kyoungwon Baik, Seun Jeon, Won Seok Chang, Byoung Seok Ye, Jin Woo Chang

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43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Focused ultrasound (FUS)-mediated blood–brain barrier (BBB) opening has shown efficacy in removal of amyloid plaque and improvement of cognitive functions in preclinical studies, but this is rarely reported in clinical studies. This study was conducted to evaluate the safety, feasibility and potential benefits of repeated extensive BBB opening. Methods: In this open-label, prospective study, six patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) were enrolled at Severance Hospital in Korea between August 2020 and September 2020. Five of them completed the study. FUS-mediated BBB opening, targeting the bilateral frontal lobe regions over 20 cm3, was performed twice at three-month intervals. Magnetic resonance imaging, 18F-Florbetaben (FBB) positron emission tomography, Caregiver-Administered Neuropsychiatric Inventory (CGA-NPI) and comprehensive neuropsychological tests were performed before and after the procedures. Results: FUS targeted a mean volume of 21.1 ± 2.7 cm3 and BBB opening was confirmed at 95.7% ± 9.4% of the targeted volume. The frontal-to-other cortical region FBB standardized uptake value ratio at 3 months after the procedure showed a slight decrease, which was statistically significant, compared to the pre-procedure value (− 1.6%, 0.986 vs1.002, P = 0.043). The CGA-NPI score at 2 weeks after the second procedure significantly decreased compared to baseline (2.2 ± 3.0 vs 8.6 ± 6.0, P = 0.042), but recovered after 3 months (5.2 ± 5.8 vs 8.6 ± 6.0, P = 0.89). No adverse effects were observed. Conclusions: The repeated and extensive BBB opening in the frontal lobe is safe and feasible for patients with AD. In addition, the BBB opening is potentially beneficial for amyloid removal in AD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalTranslational Neurodegeneration
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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