Mechanisms of Disease: The Blood-Brain Barrier

Edward A. Neuwelt, Nigel H. Greig, Corey Raffel, Arun Paul Amar, Michael L.J. Apuzzo, Jack P. Antel, Gary A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

265 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Barrier
  • Blood
  • Brain
  • Central nervous system delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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