Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects both upper and lower motor neurons, which results in loss of muscle control and eventual paralysis . Currently, there are as yet unresolved challenges regarding efficient drug delivery into the central nervous system (CNS). These challenges can be attributed to multiple factors including the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB), as well as the inherent characteristics of the drugs themselves (e.g. low solubility, insufficient bioavailability/bio-stability, 'off-target' effects) etc. As a result, conventional drug delivery systems may not facilitate adequate dosage of the required drugs for functional recovery in ALS patients. Nanotechnology-based strategies, however, employ engineered nanostructures that show great potential in delivering single or combined therapeutic agents to overcome the biological barriers, enhance interaction with targeted sites, improve drug bioavailability/bio-stability and achieve real-time tracking while minimizing the systemic side-effects. This review provides a concise discussion of recent advances in nanotechnology-based strategies in relation to combating specific pathophysiology relevant to ALS disease progression and investigates the future scope of using nanotechnology to develop innovative treatments for ALS patients.
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- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Blood-brain barrier
- Central nervous system (CNS)
- Neurodegenerative diseases