Projecting beams of light toward nerve cells in the motor cortex of mice that suffered strokes appears to improve their motor ability, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. After seven days of brain stimulation using optogenetic techniques, the subjects were able to walk faster and further than those whose brains were not stimulated. The technique is not ready for use in humans, in part because target cells must be genetically engineered, but it may shed light on how stroke recovery works.

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