The obesity is a major cause of death in many countries of the world and therefore are doomed countless studies in solving this public health problem, as well as all associated diseases.
One of the issues being studied is the relationship between the brain and the ideal weight of a person. Within this framework optogenetics is unfolds. It is a novel method that seeks to achieve a sufficient neuronal stimulation by flashes of light to manipulate brain functions such as appetite, the need to eat, satiety, etc..
The optogenetics is the result of a symbiosis between medical advances in genetics and various optical methods to control the operation of cellular activity in living tissues, always with a temporal precision to ensure its natural rhythm. Ranier Gutierrez, a researcher at the Laboratory Appetite Neurobiology, comments on this recent methodology and how it can be useful in the control of body weight of a person in a day.
The alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtli is the central axis about which develops optogenetics method, this is due to the ability of the organism to move towards a light source. This alga is that specialists a protein extract is then inserted into the brain of a living being.
Once this protein is within the body, various flashing lights are used to stimulate the production of electrical impulses in neurons and thus stimulate the brain circuitry that controls appetite, sleep, addictions.
With the method is possible optogenetics activate hypothalamic neuronal activity and appetite control therefore effectively. The most striking case is that according to Dr. Ranier Gutierrez says, it is possible to achieve a significant weight loss over the course of 24 hours.
While these results are not conclusive, the same specialist explains that there are still many studies to determine the specific type of neuron that is necessary to stimulate to treat overweight in humans.
But these benefits of the method of optogenetics are not alone, this science would also be able to identify the cells responsible for important diseases such as epileptic seizures, disturbances in sleep, vision problems and drug addictions.