Optogenetic Technique

Discussion in 'Research News' started by RODRIGO, Jan 7, 2017.

    1. RODRIGO

      RODRIGO Member

      Location:
      Valencia (Spain)
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Dori
      Surrender

      Dori Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      tl;dr--

      Links 1 & 4 deal with optogenetics. Optogenetics is a practice involving tagging neurons with light-sensitive proteins so that the cells can be "controlled" via light exposure. Dr. Zheng in link 4 wants to explore the effects of time and location specific stimulation of GABAergic neurons (GABA is our primary neurotransmitter responsible for calming neuron excitability throughout our central nervous system; in other words, it makes sure our brains aren't bombarded constantly with overwhelming stimuli by slowing excitability as needed and keeps us functioning smoothly) in rats with trauma-induced tinnitus. She wants to understand the neurological basis behind tinnitus, as dysfunction of certain neurons (I'm guessing GABAergic ones...) is associated with tinnitus. Link 1 doesn't talk about tinnitus specifically, but discusses models of optogenetic systems in mice.

      Link 2 was pretty interesting. Serotonin transporters are concentrated in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), which is responsible for basic sound localization. Using optogenetics on mice, scientists found that serotonin activation increased excitability in a certain type of cell. This heightened excitability in the DCN caused by serotonin dysfunction might be the underlying cause of tinnitus.

      Link 3 was about a German audiology symposium. There are a lot of subjects covered here, but if you have a hearing aid it's pretty cool to check out the abstracts and learn about recent research. :D

      I personally feel optimistic about this field of research, but sadly only mice are used right now. If an optogenetic system for humans came out to control tinnitus, I would be on board.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. NatureHiker
      Angelic

      NatureHiker Member

      • Like Like x 1
    4. Samir
      Obedient

      Samir Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Team Tech Team Research Team Awareness

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bewitched ears
      Unfortunately this link is dead now. I have not been able to locate a working link, unlike with the fourth link where I found a new link that works.

      This is just one of those bad things with the web. When the information goes offline or is relocated, it's no longer accessible. However, I managed to find a cached version of the text.

      Jean Cathie Research Fund Fellowship

      Monday, 3 August 2015

      Recently, Dr Yiwen Zheng was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship ($199,988) by the Jean Cathie Bequest/Auckland Medical Research Foundation to investigate the effects of time- and location-specific stimulation of GABAergic neurons on acoustic trauma-induced tinnitus in rats. Chronic tinnitus is a debilitating condition that significantly reduces the quality of life in individuals affected and presents a considerable socioeconomic impact to society. Its prevalence is expected to increase in the future due to increased risky music-listening behaviours in the younger generation. Dysfunction of a specific type of neuron in the brain, shown to be responsible for neuronal inhibition, has been linked to tinnitus generation. Dr Zheng will selectively stimulate these neurons using a novel optogenetic technique. This technology allows specific types of neurons to be labelled with light-sensitive proteins. These light-sensitive proteins are able to turn these neurons “on” when exposed to light at a specific wavelength and turn them “off” when the light is off, so that “specific” neurons at “specific” locations can be manipulated at “specific” times. Dr Zheng will then measure neurotransmitter release in different areas of the brain, before and after optogenetic stimulation of the GABAergic neurons located in different areas of the brain to determine their time- and location-specific role in tinnitus prevention and treatment using a rat model of acoustic trauma-induced tinnitus. The results will significantly improve the current understanding of the neurological basis of tinnitus and highlight optimal therapeutic targets for tinnitus treatment.

      However, I have not been able to find any publication on this by Dr Zheng. The page may have been taken down for a good reason. Either way, I think this whole thing with controlling neurons with light is a fascinating development.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Aaron123

      Aaron123 Member

      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
      • Creative Creative x 1
    6. Samir
      Obedient

      Samir Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Team Tech Team Research Team Awareness

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bewitched ears
      The Backman Institute released a video on optogenetics yesterday featuring professor Stephen Boppart.

      Coherent Control: Using Light Pulses to Control Neurons
      Coherent Control: Using Light Pulses to...


      A blog post was published a few days earlier.

      https://news.illinois.edu/blog/view/6367/5797722

      So these are just a few of the research institutions working with this technology today: MIT, Backman Institute, University of Otago, and probably many, many more. This all looks very promising.
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Informative Informative x 1
    7. Benoves

      Benoves Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      26-9-2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknow possibly noise trauma
      Looks very promising
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.