Restoring normal function to damaged or diseased nervous tissue remains a major goal of both basic and clinical neuroscience research. Advances in genetic technologies now allow targeted control of neuronal activity in the mammalian nervous system, providing novel therapeutic avenues to repair or bypass faulty circuits. Here we review recent work published in the Journal of Neuroscience by Alilain et al., demonstrating the use of Channelrhodopsin-2 to restore breathing in rodent models of spinal cord injury.
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