Scientists have created an artificial brain cell that could be used to treat neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.
A tiny piece of plastic that can transmit electricity has been successful in sending messages around the brain, in the same way that nerve cells transmit neurotransmitters.
Parkinson’s is caused by a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine. A new brain cell would be able to do the same job as these neurotransmitters and so there is hope that it can be used to treat the disease.
The technology could also help to treat epilepsy and hearing loss. Swedish scientists have already been able to control the hearing of guinea pig using the new brain cells.
The scientists are planning to develop a small unit of cells which can be implanted in the body, which can be programmed to release specific neurotransmitters.
Let’s hope this major breakthrough can be used to good effect in the future and help improve many people’s lives.
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