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Optogenetics: Update

In August 2014, I wrote a post for this blog about an exciting new approach to pain management known as "optogenetics."  You can read the post in its entirety here...but here is a brief refresher:



Optogentics is an evolving new field that sheds promise on the treatment of many conditions including chronic pain management.  In a nutshell, optogenetics is a technology that employs beams of light to control  selected areas of the brain, essentially turning them on or off.

The use of various forms of light to treat disease is not a new idea...consider the use of UV light to treat psoriasis...or light boxes for seasonal affective disorder...or lasers used in surgical procedures. It's not surprising to think that light beams can be used in other ways to treat other disorders..right?

Fast forward to November 2015. Now there are reports of studies of implantable optoelectronic systems for treatment of many health conditions via wireless.  These implants, when strategically placed, will make it possible to activate or deactivate light sensitive proteins in the nervous system.

As this field of study grows , the potential to treat many chronic pain conditions may change dramatically in years to come.  Stay tuned for updates as they become available!

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