New Therapies in Development for Neurological Disorders
Animal experiments show path to potential applications for diseases and disorders
CHICAGO — Advances in neuroscience are bringing treatments that once seemed impossible a step closer to reality. Research released today demonstrates the promise of brain-machine interface, deep brain stimulation, and other strategies to improve and even restore nerve function in neurological disorders. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2015, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
Today’s new findings show that:
- A newly created non-human primate model of artificial vision could allow for testing of neural prostheses, which may one day may help restore sight to blind people (Nathan Killian, abstract 428.10, see attached summary).
- Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s and other brain diseases may be optimized with an automated system that measures neurotransmitter levels, according to animal studies (Kendall Lee, abstract DP06.02, see attached summary).
- Chemicals that can confer light sensitivity to specific retinal cells enter the neurons through a membrane pore, with the potential of one day restoring vision after blinding diseases (Richard Kramer, abstract 138.09, see attached summary).
“Blindness, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain are among the many devastating conditions that arise from defects in the nervous system. The findings presented today bring us closer to new therapies that once seemed unthinkable,” said moderator Andrew Schwartz, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a pioneer in the field of neural prosthetics. “These experiments in animals are necessary and important steps on the pathway to new human treatments.”
This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations. Find out more about new tools for treating neurological disorders at BrainFacts.org.