Neuroscience researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada and experts from the brain repair center have found a new method to bypass the nervous system and directly stimulate muscles that lose nerve connections due to injury or disease.
When the nerve fails, the LED light directly stimulates the muscle to prevent atrophy
Professor Victor Rafuse, who teaches in the Department of medical neurology and is also the director of the brain repair center, and his co research partner, Zhang Ying, an assistant professor in the same department, said that they have successfully stimulated muscles with LED lights, which can respond to atrophy and paralysis muscles caused by nerve injury and neurodegenerative diseases.
Delhaus surgical resident and doctoral candidate Philippe magown and graduate Dr. basavaraj shettar cooperated with Raffles and Zhang Ying to carry out this major medical breakthrough experiment.
“We found that as long as we irradiate the muscles completely unconnected with the nerves through the skin for one hour a day with LED lights, we can prevent them from shrinking. Other studies have succeeded in stimulating the nerves when exposed to lights, but we are the first study that can skip the nerves and act directly on the muscles. This study has brought significant progress because of the injury of complete failure of nerve tissue or muscle atrophy Diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as gradually frozen people) cannot stimulate nerves to make muscles work. “
Restore muscle function by LED light irradiation
In order to test the theory that light can directly stimulate muscle activity, researchers implanted an ion channel that responds to light into mouse genes. This ion channel was first found in single-cell green algae. This means that ion channels allow muscles to contract when stimulated by LED blue light.
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“Our next step is to develop a method that can transfer light responsive ion channels directly to muscle without modifying gene combinations. In this way, we may have a way to find a feasible treatment for humans.”
For example, Raffles suggests transmitting such ion channels to the hand muscles of patients whose hand muscles and nerves fail due to injury. “We see the possibility of developing an ‘LED light glove’, which can be used to avoid muscle atrophy and stimulate muscle contraction when patients want to take things.”
The potential application is unlimited, and it is expected to help patients with neurological diseases such as frostbite
This new technology, which is still in the research stage, has many potential applications, including stimulating the diaphragm of patients with frostbite, helping patients suffering from respiratory problems due to the failure of neuronal mechanisms and synaptic connections, stimulating their respiratory muscles and maintaining their muscles.