[Nanopsychiatry. The potential role of nanotechnologies in the future of psychiatry. A systematic review.] - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles L'Encéphale Year : 2013

[Nanopsychiatry. The potential role of nanotechnologies in the future of psychiatry. A systematic review.]


INTRODUCTION: Nanomedicine is defined as the area using nanotechnology's concepts for the benefit of human beings, their health and well being. The field of nanotechnology opened new unsuspected fields of research a few years ago. AIM OF THE STUDY: To provide an overview of nanotechnology application areas that could affect care for psychiatric illnesses. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review using the PRISMA criteria (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis). Inclusion criteria were specified in advance: all studies describing the development of nanotechnology in psychiatry. The research paradigm was: "(nanotechnology OR nanoparticles OR nanomedicine) AND (central nervous system)" Articles were identified in three research bases, Medline (1966-present), Web of Science (1975-present) and Cochrane (all articles). The last search was carried out on April 2, 2012. Seventy-six items were included in this qualitative review. RESULTS: The main applications of nanotechnology in psychiatry are (i) pharmacology. There are two main difficulties in neuropharmacology. Drugs have to pass the blood brain barrier and then to be internalized by targeted cells. Nanoparticles could increase drugs' bioavailability and pharmacokinetics, especially improving safety and efficacy of psychotropic drugs. Liposomes, nanosomes, nanoparticle polymers, nanobubbles are some examples of this targeted drug delivery. Nanotechnologies could also add new pharmacological properties, like nanohells and dendrimers; (ii) living analysis. Nanotechnology provides technical assistance to in vivo imaging or metabolome analysis; (iii) central nervous system modeling. Research teams have modelized inorganic synapses and mimicked synaptic behavior, essential for further creation of artificial neural systems. Some nanoparticle assemblies present the same small world and free-scale network architecture as cortical neural networks. Nanotechnologies and quantum physics could be used to create models of artificial intelligence and mental illnesses. DISCUSSION: Even if nanotechnologies are promising, their safety is still tricky and this must be kept in mind. CONCLUSION: We are not about to see a concrete application of nanomedicine in daily psychiatric practice. However, it seems essential that psychiatrists do not forsake this area of research the perspectives of which could be decisive in the field of mental illness.
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inserm-00813605 , version 1 (16-04-2013)



Guillaume Fond, Stéphanie Miot. [Nanopsychiatry. The potential role of nanotechnologies in the future of psychiatry. A systematic review.]. L'Encéphale, 2013, 39 (4), pp.252-257. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2013.02.002⟩. ⟨inserm-00813605⟩
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