Targeting across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) for treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases represents the most challenging aspect of, as well as one of the largest growing fields in, neuropharmaceutics. Combining nanotechnology with multiple imaging techniques has a unique role in the diagnosis and treatment (theranostics) of CNS disease. Such imaging techniques include anatomical imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound (US), X-ray computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), electron microscopy, autoradiography and optical imaging as well as thermal images. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent advances in formulations, current challenges and possible hypotheses concerning the use of such theranostics across the BBB.
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