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April 14, 1956

The Blood-Brain Barrier, with Special Regard to the Use of Radioactive Isotopes

JAMA. 1956;160(15):1373. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960500103036

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A barrier exists that prevents some substances from reaching the brain from the blood. In this respect the brain is strikingly different from other tissues, which are far more penetrable. In this brief monograph Bakay discusses his investigations of this barrier. In the past, the blood-brain barrier has been described primarily in terms of its impenetrability by certain dyes, notably trypan blue, and other substances, such as bile pigments and sodium ferricyanide. Bakay has made his studies with radioactive isotopes, particularly P32. What relation his results bear to the earlier studies is not entirely clear, as a great difference may exist between the effectiveness of the blood-brain barrier against dyes composed of large molecules and the phosphorus ion. Although these studies are by no means conclusive, they provide interesting information for speculation. Dr. Bakay's studies should receive serious consideration by all students of this problem.

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