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The Pharmacist Answers Podcast

Your health is probably one of the most important things to you.  Yet it can be one of the most complicated things to understand.  Our bodies are meant to work a certain way, but when they don't, we may never be 100% sure why or what to do about it - even after seeing a healthcare professional.

The Pharmacist Answers Podcast is hosted by Cynthia Hendrix, PharmD.  On the Podcast, you can learn the basics of body parts and organ groups, get a glimpse of how disease processes work, and learn some practical steps to take in your own flesh and blood relationships with healthcare providers.

Everyone's health story is different.  No one is truly a "textbook case".  You need someone who sees your uniqueness and help you gain the knowledge and confidence to have conversations, ask questions, and make decisions that are right for YOU!

*The Podcast started out as live conversations on Periscope.

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Feb 13, 2017


The blood brain barrier is the last layer of cells between what's in your blood and the extracellular fluid around your brain cells.

You're born with it!  It's main job is filtration.

2 ways things get through the blood brain barrier:

  • Passive diffusion: small, neutral molecules (water, gases, lipid-soluble)
  • Active transport: glucose, amino acids, drugs (like a revolving door)

Permeability: how easily something can pass through a layer without work

Things that change permeability:

  • Inflammation - stretches layer and makes holes bigger (meningitis, injury)
  • Multiple sclerosis - an auto-immune disease that can degrade the BBB
  • Alzheimer's - BBB becomes overwhelmed with antibodies and burns out

*Scary Section*

Rabies is a virus that is small and can get through the blood brain barrier but the immune system cells, antibodies from the vaccine, and medicines can't.
HIV encephalopathy is caused when a mutation of the HIV gets into the brain and use brain cells to replicate (rather than the well-known T-cells of the immune system).  There is also a rare symptom of HIV called HIV-associated dementia.


microchimerisms - Pregnancy causes the permeability of many areas of the body to change, and this includes the BBB.

Test Yourself

Drugs that have central nervous system effects (good) or side effects (bad) cross the BBB.  See what you know of different medications and what job they're supposed to do and what negative side effects they cause and see if you can guess if they cross the BBB.

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Music Credits:  “Radio Martini” Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0