The blood-brain barrier, a concept including all morphological and functional mechanisms that restricts or facilitates the passage of substances from blood to brain, enables the brain environment to be regulated relatively independently from concentration and fluctuations in plasma constituents. The various aspects on the blood-brain barrier have been extensively discussed in a number of recent symposia and our knowledge on the blood-brain barrier physiology has advanced impressively during the last decade. However, as to the pathophysiology and the long-term consequences of a transient or permanent barrier damage, little is known - a fact attributable to the limited amount of interest shown in this area of research until recently. The idea to arrange a Fernstrom symposium on the consequences of barrier damage emerged in 1987, when findings in Barbro Johansson's Laboratory of Experimental Neurology indicated that opening of the blood-brain barrier in various experimental models could lead to permanent neuronal injury.
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