The work of Prof. Tom Vanden Berghe focuses particularly on the toxicity of iron, which can cause cell death, and on the ways in which this toxicity can be countered by the use of new molecules. These slow-growing lesions, which are known as slow expanding lesions (SEL), develop inside brains when the blood-brain barrier has once more become impermeable. A basic issue, then, is delivering the requisite therapeutic molecules to the brain.
Prof. Anne des Rieux is working on a new method of getting molecules to penetrate the brain via the nasal mucous membrane, the upper part of which is separated from the olfactory bulbs only by the cribriform plate, a thin bone with multiple holes. Nanomolecule sprays containing therapeutic substances could enable drugs to be introduced directly into the brain, bypassing the blood-brain barrier.
This research is periodically the focus of scientific meetings organized by the Belgian Charcot Foundation. Belgian teams that have benefited from Charcot funds will present their results with the participation of renowned overseas specialists. To obtain valid scientific advances, it is essential that researchers exchange and communicate with each other.
Prof. Dr Christian Sindic