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Neurosurgery. 2004 Jan;54(1):131-40; discussion 141-2.

Mechanisms of disease: the blood-brain barrier.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA. neuwelte@ohsu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is often perceived as a passive membrane. However, evidence has demonstrated that the BBB plays an active role in normal homeostasis and in certain disease processes.

METHODS:

Approximately 300 peer-reviewed publications that discussed normal or abnormal BBB function were reviewed.

RESULTS:

The role of the BBB and how it contributes to disorders of the central nervous system vary, depending on the specific disease process.

CONCLUSION:

In health and disease and extending to old age, endothelial cells, neurons, and glia constitute a neurovascular unit that regulates the BBB. Advances toward penetrating the BBB must account for both normal and abnormal functions of the neurovascular unit.

PMID:
14683550
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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