Many drugs are not being effectively and efficiently delivered using conventional drug delivery approach to brain or central nervous system (CNS) due to its complexity. The brain and the central nervous system both have limited accessibility to blood compartment due to a number of barriers. Many advanced and effective approaches to brain delivery of drugs have emerged in recent years. Intranasal drug delivery is one of the focused delivery options for brain targeting, as the brain and nose compartments are connected to each other via the olfactory route and via peripheral circulation. Realization of nose to brain transport and the therapeutic viability of this route can be traced from the ancient times and has been investigated for rapid and effective transport in the last two decades. Various models have been designed and studied by scientists to establish the qualitative and quantitative transport through nasal mucosa to brain. The development of nasal drug products for brain targeting is still faced with enormous challenges. A better understanding in terms of properties of the drug candidate, nose to brain transport mechanism, and transport to and within the brain is of utmost importance. This review will discuss some pertinent issues to be considered and challenges to brain targeted intranasal drug delivery. A few marketed and investigational drug formulations will also be discussed.
Keywords: central nervous system, blood brain barrier, nasal mucosa, brain targeting
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