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Archive for October 7, 2014

The Blood-Brain Barrier and the Future of Medicine

The blood-brain barrier, not quite a brick and mortar defense from the outside world, but strangely enough it is extremely effective. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a bouncer, it keeps the bad things out, while helping to regulate certain aspects of the brain. To circumvent the BBB thousands of people have stimulators placed deep in their brains in the hope of curing their ills. Many require tubes, catheters, and shunts penetrating deep into their brain ventricles to deliver medicine or to drain over pressurized cerebral fluids. These devices have a crude and bulky insertion that is simply plowed through healthy brain tissue, sparing little in its path. In other words, we need to do better.