Optogenetics involves use of light to control cells in living tissues. The technology relies on stimulating neurons which have been genetically modified to express light sensitive cells in living tissue. Since the introduction of the technology, it has been applied to treat different health conditions. When light is applied at high precision, it can easily excite or salience nerves. The nerve excitation and silencing can be achieved without impairing the cells. This makes it easy for Optogenetics to be applied in different areas of medical research and treatment options. Light simulation has shown great benefits when it comes to gene therapy as well as other health benefits.
Potential benefits of Optogenetics
Cell culture, Network analysis
It is very easy to analyze neural networks through the application of the technology. Cells can be stimulated by light to different precisions. This makes it easy for scientists to study the cells in details. The results obtained from the simulation exercise can be used to achieve precise results which can be used to study neural networks theoretically. This gives the students of medicine clear view of neural networks. Through cell culture analysis, it is possible for scientists to get detailed descriptions of the condition of cells under different conditions. This makes it easy for the professionals to come up with the most suitable methods when it comes to treating different health complications.
Mapping of the brain and behavior
The technology can be applied to study the behavior of brain cells. This makes it possible for scientists to come up with the best treatment options when it comes to treating different brain complications. The treatment has been proved to be more effective in getting a clear view of brain cells behavior more than other methods which have been used to study brain behavior. For example, health professionals can apply the technology to get a more detailed view of the brain which is unlike methods such as optical and electrical.
There are some health complications which are related to genes. It is possible to treat the health complications through application of optogenetic. The procedure has already been utilized to treat Lebers Congenital Amaurosis in humans. The scientist can apply the technology to treat the affected retina in human eye. From research, it is possible for the technology to make it possible for scientist to achieve great success when it comes to gene therapy.
Recovery of vision
The technology can be applied to recover vision. Scientists have applied the technology in rates and they showed good results. The light can be used to excite retina of animals which in return will lead to recovery of vision. This can be a great breakthrough considering there are many people in the world who have lost their vision due to different circumstances. The application of the procedure will make it easy for scientists to excite the retina and other photosensitive parts of the eye which have stopped working for them to start their operation.
Parkinson disease, Epilepsy
Deep brain stimulation is among treatment options for people suffering from Parkinson disease. Scientist have proved that besides using drug, the disease can be managed through application of Optogenetics.
For a more in depth explanation of Optogenetics and how it works, check out the video below.