Conduit to the Brain: Particles enter the nervous system via the nose

By Ben Harder, 15:50 PM April 15, 2008

Like stealthy intruders, minute airborne particles can apparently invade the brain through a vulnerable portal. At least some such particles, when inhaled into the nose, shimmy up the nerve bundle that governs smell and infiltrate the central nervous system, bypassing the natural firewall between brain tissue and the main circulatory system, new research suggests.

That has both worrisome and promising implications, according to scientists. For one thing, particulate matter from human activiti...

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