Scientists did show last year that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide can travel from the nostril to the brain of laboratory mice, damaging brain cells. Further, the nanoparticles travelled beyond the olfactory part of the brain to the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus, where evidence of cell damage and deterioration was subsequently observed. Normally the brain is protected from substances by the blood-brain barrier, but the tiny particles are able to travel along the olfactory nerve. It is important to note that it is the chemical and not the actual nanoparticle that causes the damage; nanoparticles have many positive applications in the medical and scientific world, ironically even in healing brain injury.
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