What is blood brain barrier?
Our brain is the most delicate and important organ of the human body, and that is the reason nature provides maximum protection to our Central Nervous System i.e Brain and spinal cord.
One way of protecting our brain is having a natural helmet around it, also known as a skull. The other protective and very fascinating mechanism that our brain has is called “Blood-Brain Barrier“.
The blood-brain barrier, as the name suggests is the barrier between the brain and our circulatory system i.e blood. In other simple words, it decides what element of blood should enter our brain and what should not.
Our arteries carry oxygenated blood from our heart to all over the body including the brain and the blood enters most of our organs with almost full intensity and only in the brain there is a security system for checking what is good and should enter our brain cells and the materials which seem to be dangerous immediately kicked out and stopped from entering our most delicate organ.
What makes these barriers and why they are not in other body organs?
The blood arteries in the brain are different from the rest of the body and have special structures that stop unnecessary materials from exiting blood and entering the brain.
These structures are, Three (3) things that participate in Blood-Brain Barrier are,
- Astrocyte foot process.
- Basement membrane.
- Tight junctions.
Few structures in the brain are exceptions to Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) i.e no BBB in those structures and thus certain chemicals and molecules could enter there. One of those structures is “Area Postrema” which functions as chemoreceptors.
BBB could be a problem sometimes because certain drugs or medicines not entering the brain and are not effective.
“The ability for weed molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) could reduce the necessary dosage of medical cannabis. A variety of treatments could be advanced for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, brain cancer, and chronic pain. Historically, the BBB has posed significant challenges to drug development for central nervous system (CNS) diseases by preventing most drugs from reaching the brain in therapeutically relevant concentrations.”
Other valuable barriers in our body are,
- Blood testis barrier.
- Fetal placental barrier.
Many things in our body make us think about the delicacy of our body and the Blood-brain barrier is one of them.
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