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Rewiring the Brain with Nanotechnology

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Nanotechnology may offer new treatment options for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease or post stroke. In the BMC Neuroscience article “Nanotechnology approaches to crossing the blood-brain barrier and drug delivery to the CNS,” author Gabriel A. Silva defines nanotechnology as “materials and devices that have a functional organization in at least one dimension on the nanometer (one billionth of a meter) scale, ranging from a few to about 100 nanometers.” These tiny devices can enter the brain, aiding with the transport of medication or increase of neurotransmitter levels.

In this study, nanotechnology was investigated as a method for delivering drugs through the blood-brain barrier, abbreviated as BBB. The BBB is semi-permeable and protects the brain. Larger molecules cannot pass through the BBB, which poses a limitation when creating medication. For example, dopamine, the neurotransmitter that Parkinson's disease patients are lacking, is too large to pass through the BBB. L-DOPA, the smaller precursor of dopamine, is administered instead. Nanotechnology can deliver certain molecules directly to the central nervous system (CNS), which increases medication options.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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