Researchers in India and the United States collaborate to develop an innovative approach to understanding brain disorders

Researchers in India and the United States collaborate to develop an innovative approach to understa ...

In collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NICE) of the United States, researchers at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have developed an optogenetic approach to understand brain disorders such as Alzheimer''s disease, depression, and schizophrenia.

In a statement, the JMI said the tool can investigate molecular trafficking in neurons and has been developed by Dr Tanveer Ahmad, who completed his postdoctoral training at the National Health Organization, before joining the varsity as an assistant professor.

"Understanding the molecular limitations of these diseases will assist in the development of targeted therapies, particularly viral and mRNA-based therapies, which are specific to a specific target molecule in the cells," Ahmad said.

He believes that the tool may be used to address other biological issues such as memory formation, and for the development of novel, light-activated therapies for cancer treatment and neurodegeneration.

The researchers explored the potential of phototropic receptors known as light-oxygen-voltage-sensing domains obtained from the plant Avena Sativa (oats) and abbreviated as AsLOV2, creating innovative chimeric molecular designs by combinating a light-sensitive domain of LOV2 with a protein called neuregulin3.

According to the statement, Alzheimer''s, schizophrenia, and depression are known as genetic polymorphisms. It is also believed to be a beneficial gene for these diseases.

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Researchers studied a new mechanism of protein trafficking in hippocampal neurons of the brain, which they described as trans-synaptic retention.

MCARS Director Mohd. Zulfequar said these innovative futuristic optogenetic techniques will offer unprecedented ease to understand human diseases and to find innovative treatment therapies.

According to a study, the optogenetic approach has revolutionized the field of neuroscience and collaboration with international organizations, like the National Institutes of Health, and shows that India is at the forefront of the field of developing and implementing these cutting-edge technologies.

According to the JMI, a study in this regard was published in a highly-reputed peer-reviewed scientific journal "Journal of Cell Biology."

The study''s principal author is Ahmad, while Rituparna Chaudhuri and Nisha Chaudhary are the other contributing authors.

Dr. Andres Buonanno, who is the senior author, and Dr. Detlef Vullhorst, Dr. Carlos Guardia, Dr. Irina Karavanova, and Dr. Juan Bonifacino, both are co-authors.