Shedding Light on Parkinson's Treatment
July 27, 2010
Casting light on diseased circuitry, optogenetics helps identify cellular targets of deep-brain stimulation. First, specific cells are treated in a way that makes them sensitive to stimulation by blue light. Then an optical fiber is implanted in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) region of the brain. Treating the brain with rapid flashes of blue light activates neurons (green and purple structures) in the STN and cortex, which improves disease symptoms. This optogenetic result provides important scientific insight into the affected brain circuits.
Topics: Health Medical Pharma, Neuroprosthetics, Central nervous system, Cerebrum, Optogenetics, Subthalamic nucleus, Brain pacemaker, Basal ganglia, Neurotechnology, Deep brain stimulation, Brain, Neuroanatomy, Parkinson's disease