ESSAY: Blood-brain barrier

Explain the purpose of the blood-brain barrier and how it functions. Include discussion of the types of substances that can pass through and effect the brain.


Blood-Brain Barrier

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The brain is a delicate body component that has to be well protected. One of the brain’s critical role in controlling and coordinating actions and reactions and allowing a person to think and function normally. Additionally, it is also responsible for tasks that define humanity such as memories and feelings. It is because of these critical roles that make it necessary for the brain to be properly guarded against any form of damage. This essay critically evaluates how the brain is protected through the blood mechanism and how it functions. Additionally, the types of substances that can pass through the effect of the brain will be presented as well.

The Purpose of the Blood-Brain Barrier

When one imagines how the brain is protected, what may easily come into the mind is the 7 mm thick skull and the protective fluid called the cerebrospinal. There is also the protective membrane referred to as the meninges. All these provisions help protect the brain against any form of physical damage. However, the blood-brain barrier is one of the notable shields to the brain. The barrier is within the blood vessels of the brain (capillaries), the cells among other components comprising the brain tissue. The barriers highlighted before were mainly meant to shield the brain against physical harm. However, the blood-brain barrier shields the brain against pathogens that can cause diseases as well as pathogens that can be found in the blood (Samson, 2019). The building of the blood-brain barrier that acts as a barrier is the endothelial junction which is tight in nature. The inside walls of the capillaries are lined with endothelial cells. Additionally, in these vessels that form the blood-brain barrier, the endothelial cells are closely packed together exhibiting what is called a tight junction. This tight network is critical in protecting the brain as it only allows small molecules, fatty molecules that are soluble and gases that can go through the capillary wall then eventually into the brain. However, larger molecules…

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