Friday, December 16, 2011

Neurons Implanted Can Become Brain Cells

Scientists in Wisconsin have discovered a way to use stem cells, grown outside of the body, and then implanted to become fully functioning brain neuronal cells. These cells then integrate into the functioning electrical impulses that neurons are responsible for. You see, neurons are what control all of our electrical functioning and control everything from neurotransmitters with a host of functions such as serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, etc., to movement and many other functions. Everything we do takes neuronal functioning.

The way they stimulate these is also new in that light is used rather than just an electrical current. They are also stating that in the future, they will be able to not only transplant grown brain neurons, but any other cell of the 220 types of human tissue. This obviously is great news as Parkinsons and A.L.S., Lou Gehrig's Disease, can be treated with this therapy method. Also the ability to graft new cells without taking tissue from another area of the body is also a possibility. This also gives rise to the ability to use light based stimulation technology called optogenetics on transplanted cells.

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