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Nanostructures for Drug Delivery to the Brain

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This review aims to summarize present approaches employed in delivering drugs to the central nervous system. Changes in blood-brain barrier (BBB) function have been reported in several neurological disorders. A brief description of the blood brain barrier and the main pathologies related to this barrier disfunction are described. Treatments for these disorders are based on several available strategies for delivering drugs into the brain, through circumvention of the BBB, as disruption of the BBB, prodrugs, molecular Trojan horses, among others. Particular attention will be placed on nanocarriers and more specifically on polymeric nanoparticles, which are presented as the most promising strategy for CNS delivery, helping drugs to be targeted more efficiently to the brain. This also allows attacking previously untreatable disorders such as brain tumors and other neurodegenerative diseases. New strategies and technologies commercialized by different pharmaceutical companies are also included.

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Keywords: BBB disfunction; Blood-brain barrier; CNS delivery; brain targeting; brain tumors; drug delivery; nanocarriers; nanostructures; neurodegerative diseases; polymeric nanoparticles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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