Targeting of neurons using nanomedicines: a brain solution to solve obesity and related metabolic diseases

The alarming global increase of neuron-related diseases such as obesity and related complications suggest an urgent need for new therapeutic strategies. Strong evidence shows that the metabolism in brain cells, particularly in hypothalamic neurons and glia, plays a critical role in the development of obesity and other severe diseases such as glioblastoma. Then, there is a new paradigm in the management of these diseases by targeting brain cells and specifically neurons. Up to now, diseases under the control of the brain are not adequately treated due to the lack of approaches to effectively reach specific cell populations and specific targets in the metabolism of the cell. A major obstacle to improving clinical outcomes of central therapies relies on the inability to deliver therapeutically relevant doses of the drug/cargo to diseased cells or regions. Other factors such as blood brain barrier crossing, off target effects, toxicity and chemical instability also limit the treatment of these pathologies. Nanomedicine-based approaches provide promising opportunities for overcoming these limitations.