What is the blood-brain-barrier?
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a specialized structure formed by the blood vessels of the central nervous system (CNS) that regulates the movement of molecules and ions between the blood and the brain.
The blood vessels in the brain are different from everywhere else. Our circulatory system sends oxygen and other nutrients to every tissue of our body through our blood and blood vessels.
In most tissues the blood vessels are leaky or permeable in order to let the oxygen and nutrients into the tissue. However in the CNS (the brain, spinal cord and retina) the blood vessels form a tight barrier to protect the brain from any toxic chemicals or infectious agents that might damage it. In fact if you inject blue dye into the blood stream the dye will penetrate all tissues except the brain.
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