Advantages Of Optogenetics

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Extended Essay

Research Title: An examination of the advantages and disadvantages of optogenetics as a treatment option for neurological conditions in humans.

Research Question: To what extent is optogenetic technology a feasible form of treatment for neurological conditions in humans?

Table of Contents

Introduction 2
Method 4
Alzheimer’s Disease 5
Parkinson’s Disease 6
Anxiety 8
Depression 9
Advancements in Technology 10
Risks and Implications 12
Limitations 13
Conclusion 14
Bibliography 15

Optogenetics is the use of light to control genetically engineered cells. It has been commonly used in the field of neuroscience for around ten years (Reference). In the future, optogenetics could be at the forefront of medical …show more content…

The first four areas are: Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, anxiety, and depression. These are fields where optogenetic techniques have been used to gain many new insights and have had success in symptom reversal. These achievements will be discussed in this study. The advancements already made in these areas are representative of the potential that optogenetic solutions have concerning neurological disorders. The fifth section is Advancements in Technology, which discusses the improvements that can be made to this technology in the future, and how these improvements may translate into a more feasible application for humans. The last area of examination concerns the risks and implications of this technology if it should be used on humans. The potential risks should be carefully considered to come to a conclusion on whether optogenetics should move on to human …show more content…

Ex: In _________’s (year) article... )Memory retrieval by activating engram cells in mouse models of early Alzheimer’s disease researchers tried to determine whether the effects of early stage Alzheimer's Disease could be reversed with optogenetic techniques. They began with the idea that memories are stored in engram cells. Previously with early stage Alzheimer's, scientists were not certain whether neurons in the brain have trouble accessing these engram cells, or if the brain was improperly storing the memories. Through optogenetic methods, they activated the engram cells in the brain’s of their test mice, which led to memory retrieval. They used engram cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. This finding implies that the cause of Alzheimer's is memory retrieval problems, rather than a problem with the engram cells. These findings demonstrate that not only can optogenetics potentially reverse the effects of Alzheimer's, but that it can also help researchers learn more about the disease. Scientists have hitherto found that reduced dendritic spine density in neurons is linked to memory loss in Alzheimer’s Disease. Previous studies have found that long-term potentiation, which is the strengthening of synapses by repeated action (ncbi), can be induced with optogenetic methods. This long-term potentiation strengthens the dendritic spine density. The study found that in early stages of the disease,

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