Asian Spine J.  2015 Apr;9(2):299-305. 10.4184/asj.2015.9.2.299.

Optogenetics Applications for Treating Spinal Cord Injury

Affiliations
  • 1Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara, Japan. aftabac@yahoo.com
  • 2Department of Biology, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, Pakistan.

Abstract

Cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) are increasing all over the world; and in USA alone, there are 273,000 patients, which not only leads to morbidity and mortality but also results in a great economic burden. Many approaches are being used at the pre-clinical and clinical level to treat SCI including therapeutic agents, surgical decompression, stem cell therapy etc. Recently, a new approach called optogenetics has emerged in which light sensitive proteins are used to switch neurons on and off, and this approach has great potential to be used as therapy due to its specificity and rapid response in milliseconds. Few animal studies have been performed so far in which the respiratory and bladder function of rats was restored through the use of optogenetics. On the basis of promising results obtained, in the future, this approach can prove to be a valuable tool to treat patients with SCI.

Keyword

Optogenetics; Spinal cord injury; Photostimulation; Stem cells; Regeneration

MeSH Terms

Animals
Decompression, Surgical
Humans
Mortality
Neurons
Optogenetics*
Rats
Regeneration
Sensitivity and Specificity
Spinal Cord Injuries*
Stem Cells
Urinary Bladder
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