Researchers Develop New Optogenetic Tool For Treating Neurological Disorders

Aug, 2022 - By SMI

Researchers Develop New Optogenetic Tool For Treating Neurological Disorders

Scientists from India and the US collaborated to develop a new optogenetic tool, which will be useful in the treatment of neurological disorders.

Researchers from US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have joined forces to develop an optogenetic tool. This tool can be used for better understanding of diseases like depression, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Tanveer Ahmad from JMI who is lead author in this research developed this tool.

This device will help in learning the molecular details of these disorders and also help in developing target therapies. This tool can also be used for developing treatment for cancer and neurodegeneration. This is expected to answer many questions related to memory formation. The researchers are planning to create light activated therapies using the optogenetic tool. Dr. Ahmad also mentioned that these devices can be used to develop m-RNA and viral based target therapies, as these therapies are more target specific in cells.

The scientists have combined a protein called neuregulin3 (NRG3) with a light-sensitive domain of LOV2. They have developed a chimeric molecular design, which is abbreviated as AsLOV2. This increases the possibilities of the phototropic receptors, also called as light-oxygen-voltage-sensing domains. These are derived from Avena Sativa plant. Patients of Schizophrenia and Alzheimer are suspected of having genetic polymorphism in the NRG3. A new mechanism called as the trans-synaptic retention has been developed by researchers using this device which will help in protein trafficking.

Director of MCARS, Mohd. Zulfequar said that these new tools will provide us with an unmatched understanding of these diseases and also help in finding a treatment for them. These optogenetic techniques will revolutionize the field of neuroscience. India is now in the front line in developing such advanced, state-of-the-art technologies, after collaborating with institutes like NIH.

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