Is the blood-brain barrier real?

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Chris

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Is the blood-brain barrier real?
« on: 13/10/2009 14:30:02 »
Chris asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Medical shows dramatically talk of the brain blood barrier. Is this real as injected drugs seem to slip right past it. Keep up your excellent standards

Chris of Cardiff

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Offline Bored chemist

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Is the blood-brain barrier real?
« Reply #1 on: 13/10/2009 18:48:42 »
Not all drugs cross it.
Some of the newer "non-drowsy" antihistamies used in threating hayfever, for example, are non drowsy simply because they don't reach the brain.
This can be a blessing (as in the hay fever pills) or a nuisance- some antibiotics don't cross the barrier well so they don't work for treating infections of the brain.

As a general guide, very polar molecules won't cross it (with the exception of molecules that the brain's membrane mistakes for glucose- it has to transport glucose in specially as fuel for the brain.
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Offline thedoc

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