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What Is BBB?
Here's A Question: When We Get Sick, Why Don't The Bacteria And Viruses Invade And Attack Our Brain?

The Answer? It's Because Of Our Brains Protective Layer Called The Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB).

What Is Blood-Brain Barrier?

The Blood-Brain Barrier Is Like A Fence Made Of Cells Between The Blood Vessels And The Brain. It Keeps The Brain Safe From Disease-Causing Pathogens, Such As Bacteria And Viruses, And Other Toxins That May Be Present In Your Blood. The Blood-Brain Barrier Is Permeable, But It Is Highly Selective. This Lets It Control What Gets Through The Bloodstream And Into The Brain. It Keeps Harmful Molecules From Reaching The Brain But Allows Essential Molecules Such As Glucose, Oxygen And Water To Easily Pass Through It.
Nerve Cells
Blood Vessels In The Brain Have Specialized Endothelial Cells That Are Packed Very Tightly, Forming Junctions Through Which Small Molecules Leave The Blood And Enter The Brain Tissue.

The Blood-Brain Barrier Poses One Of The Major Challenges For Drug Delivery To The Brain, As It Blocks Almost 95% Of Drugs Delivered Orally Or Intravenously To Treat Neurological Diseases, Such As Alzheimer's And Parkinson's. Because Of This, Researchers Are Developing Techniques To Allow Them To Bypass This Barrier. The “Trojan Horse” Approach Is One Way To Trick The Blood-Brain Barrier Into Allowing The Passage Of The Drugs.

In This Technique, The Drug Is Attached To A Molecule That Can Pass The Barrier. It Involves Combining Therapeutic Drugs With Antibodies That Bind To Specific Receptors On The Blood Side Surface Of The Barrier Layer. This Binding Activates The Receptors, Making Way For This “Trojan Horse” Of A Drug-Antibody Compound To Pass The Layer To Unload Its Cargo In The Brain.

Other Brain Penetrating Strategies Involve The Use Of Engineered Viruses That Can Deliver Therapeutic Agents. Scientists Are Also Using Ultrasound To Temporarily Open Parts Of The Blood-Brain Barrier. Patients Are Injected With Microscopic Bubbles, Which Then Spread Throughout The Circulatory System. Once The Bubbles Are In The Right Spot, Scientists Use Pulses Of Ultrasound To Vibrate The Bubbles In A Portion Of The Brain. This Causes The Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) To Open For A Few Hours Before Sealing Itself Again. While These Techniques Are Fascinating, We May Be Able To Influence The Blood-Brain Barrier Through Less Direct Means.
Patient Are Injected With Microscopic Bubbles
In A Completely Separate Study, Microbes That Reside Naturally In The Gut Were Found To Influence The Integrity Of The Blood-Brain Barrier. So, Considering The Fact That The Composition And Diversity Of Our Microbiome Changes Over Time, It Is Suggested That The Strength Of The Blood-Brain Barrier Changes With It. Some People Have A Naturally Weaker Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Because Of Some Another Condition. For Example, The Blood-Brain Barriers In People With Epilepsy And Multiple Sclerosis Are Defective. Studies Have Shown That This Malfunction, Which Results From Very Different Diseases, Can Be Traced To A Single Set Of Genes.

This Knowledge May Be Very Useful For Developing New Ways Of Opening The Blood-Brain Barrier To Increase The Efficiency Of Neurological Drugs And For The Design Of Treatment Plans That Strengthen The Integrity Of The Barrier. Mastering The Ability To Deliver Drugs To The Brain In Low Doses Will Allow Doctors To Treat The Patients Without Harming Them With The Unnecessary Toxicity That Can Be Found In Higher Doses. This Would Usher In A New Era For Treating Neurological Diseases Much More Efficiently.

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