| acute pain management

A Potential Off Switch for Depression and Pain

Brain Control in the Form of the Eel-Like Lamprey

The lamprey is an eel-like creature in which researchers have found a protein called parapinopsin. This discovery was part of the research used to determine how brain neurons work, and may be controlled. The parapinopsin inhibited neurons, and turned off brain circuits. A similar system could be used to change mood disorders, depression, addiction, and potentially pain as well.

Lead corresponding author Michael Bruchas commented, “We took the gene from that protein and found we can control the way neurons talk to each other, which is how chemicals are transmitted into the brain.” Highlights from the study include the fact that “parapinopsin is a photoswitchable Gi-coupled opsin activated by blue light” and may suppress reward-seeking behaviors.


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Holly Caster