Researchers develop living model of brain’s basic units

March 23rd, 2009 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 23 (IANS) Researchers are developing a novel way to model the working of the human brain by creating its living representation.
Tiny 3-D cell clusters, which are essentially very small models of the human nervous system, could be used to develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone and Parkinson’s diseases.

Michael Coleman, professor at Aston University, Birmingham, who is leading the research team, said: “We are aiming to be able to study the human brain at the most basic level, using an actual living human cellular system.”

“Cells have to be alive and operating efficiently to enable us to really understand how the brain works. In the longer term, we hope that our procedure can be used to help us understand how conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases develop,” he said.

“We hope that our technique will provide scientists with a new and highly relevant human experimental model to help us understand the brain better and develop new drugs and treatments to tackle neurodegenerative disease,” he added, according to a release of Aston University.

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