Although the global prevalence of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, glioblastoma, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis is steadily increasing, effective delivery of drug molecules in therapeutic quantities to the central nervous system (CNS) is still lacking. The blood brain barrier (BBB) is the major obstacle for the entry of drugs into the brain, as it comprises a tight layer of endothelial cells surrounded by astrocyte foot processes that limit drugs’ entry. In recent times, intranasal drug delivery has emerged as a reliable method to bypass the BBB and treat neurological diseases. The intranasal route for drug delivery to the brain with both solution and particulate formulations has been demonstrated repeatedly in preclinical models, including in human trials. The key features determining the efficacy of drug delivery via the intranasal route include delivery to the olfactory area of the nares, a longer retention time at the nasal mucosal surface, enhanced penetration of the drugs through the nasal epithelia, and reduced drug metabolism in the nasal cavity. This review describes important neurological disorders, challenges in drug delivery to the disordered CNS, and new nasal delivery techniques designed to overcome these challenges and facilitate more efficient and targeted drug delivery. The potential for treatment possibilities with intranasal transfer of drugs will increase with the development of more effective formulations and delivery devices.
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