FEB 22, 2017 05:41 PM PST

Midbrain Research Challenges met with Mini Brain Models

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

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The human brain is still a mysterious organ. It's challenging to study the structure and function of such a delicate organ that is extremely sensitive and difficult to access. That makes investigating diseases like Parkinson's very tough. As such, scientists have searched for a way to create a model for such research. They have found some success with the development of mini-brains.

Researchers have looked to simplified, miniaturized versions of human organs as test cases for laboratory research, and an alternative to animal models. In this case, miniature midbrain structures have been grown from stem cells in the laboratory, giving researchers an unprecedented ability to reach the cell types that are most affected by diseases like Parkinson's. Now, not only can investigators look at the mechanisms underlying disease using the mini brains, they can also test out therapeutics and treatments.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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