Neurodegenerative diseases and effective drug delivery: A review of challenges and novel therapeutics

Amna Akhtar, Anisa Andleeb, Tayyba Sher Waris, Masoomeh Bazzar, Ali-Reza Moradi, Nasir Raza Awan, Muhammad Yar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)
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The central nervous system (CNS) encompasses the brain and spinal cord and is considered the processing center and the most vital part of human body. The central nervous system (CNS) barriers are crucial interfaces between the CNS and the periphery. Among all these biological barriers, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) strongly impede hurdle for drug transport to brain. It is a semi-permeable diffusion barrier against the noxious chemicals and harmful substances present in the blood stream and regulates the nutrients delivery to the brain for its proper functioning. Neurological diseases owing to the existence of the BBB and the blood-spinal cord barrier have been terrible and threatening challenges all over the world and can rarely be directly mediated. In fact, drug delivery to brain remained a challenge in the treatment of neurodegenerative (ND) disorders, for these different approaches have been proposed. Nano-fabricated smart drug delivery systems and implantable drug loaded biomaterials for brain repair are among some of these latest approaches. In current review, modern approaches developed to deal with the challenges associated with transporting drugs to the CNS are included. Recent studies on neural drug discovery and injectable hydrogels provide a potential new treatment option for neurological disorders. Moreover, induced pluripotent stem cells used to model ND diseases are discussed to evaluate drug efficacy. These protocols and recent developments will enable discovery of more effective drug delivery systems for brain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1152-1167
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Early online date13 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021


  • Blood brain barrier
  • Brain targeted drug delivery
  • Injectable
  • Nanotechnology
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Polymer implants
  • Stem cells

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