Bodily Defense



Given the enormous importance of the human brain, one might think that our bodies would have evolved extensive safeguards to protect it from toxic compounds. Yet the brain is so easily intoxicated with some very common chemicals that we don’t even question it. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine—they all travel in the blood, reach the cranium, and enter into the cerebral spinal fluid so quickly and efficiently that the brain seems to be defenseless against chemical onslaught. If the brain is so critical to our existence, how is it that the psychoactive substances mentioned above, which are all toxic molecules, can all so easily enter into the inner recesses of the brain and alter its function?


Parent Compound Toxic Compound Receptor Site Cerebral Spinal Fluid Diphenyl Ether 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abbott, N. J. “Blood–Brain Barrier Structure and Function and the Challenges for CNS Drug Delivery.” Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 36 (2013): 437–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Pardridge, W. M. “Drug Delivery to the Brain.” Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 17 (1997): 713–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Patel, M. M., B. R. Goyal, S. V. Bhadada, J. S. Bhatt, and A. F. Amin. “Getting into the Brain.” CNS Drugs 23 (2009): 35–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Alan Kolok 2016

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations