Technologies and Neurophysiological Complications Involved in the Delivery of Drugs Across the Blood Brain Barrier to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
The medical field relies heavily on the collection and development of knowledge required to design novel drugs, as well as formulate innovative and effective methods of drug delivery, particularly with reference to neurophysiological diseases. Alzheimer’s is one of many chronic neurodegenerative diseases, and impacts more than 40 million people worldwide. Diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, can be devastating for a patient and those caring for them, and when coupled with other ailments common to aging populations they can significantly decrease quality of life. While some medicines currently exist to treat Alzheimer’s disease, they serve only as short term symptom relief through inducing an increase of acetylcholine in the brain. There is extensive ongoing research into treatments which would sustain long-term slowing or arresting Alzheimer’s disease progression. One of the main challenges to successfully delivering such a drug, however, is traversing the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, the aim of this literature review is to discuss and evaluate two methodologies of drug delivery through the blood-brain barrier currently undergoing development: adsorptive- and receptor-mediated transcytosis. These methods focus on the interactions of the molecular carrier and the blood brain barrier itself, using its chemical and physiological characteristics to assist in drug delivery. This review will also investigate the stage of development each of these delivery techniques are currently undergoing, assess the potential for the delivery method to be used in the active treatment of neurological diseases, and evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of each method.