Science

Greek researcher decoded the messages between the nervous system and the brain

The reading of these nerve signals and brain-related messages on body health is seen as a major step forward in the field of bioelectronics as it provides new possibilities for the development of innovative devices that will allow the diagnosis and treatment of various future.

The assistant professor Theodore Zanos of the Center bioelectronics Medical Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Molecular Medicine Department of Medicine Hofstra / Northwell New York School, did the date of publication in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

It was already known that the vagus nerve controls the production of cytokines, molecules that favor inflammation in many diseases. However, it has been unknown to date whether each different cytokine sends to the brain its own separate information about the state of the immune system and the inflammation. Dr. Zanos and colleagues successfully succeeded in expressing the separate nervous systems that send two cytokines, IL-1β and TNF.

“Our findings,” said Dr. Zanos, “show that it is possible to detect the specific signals of cytokines by the body receptors to the brain via electrical signals at the vagus nerve.

We will now use, in future bioelectronic studies, these methods of decoding the neural signals to decode the nerve signals of a wide variety of medical conditions. This is a key step in developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic devices. ”

As he said, “these are the first steps of an effort we make to create technology that can diagnose specific diseases before their symptoms develop. The major new finding of the study is, first, that the vagus nerve carries coded information for specific substances associated with inflammation and immune system, and secondly that we can now with a combination of surgical technique, electrodes and algorithms can record and decode the ” .

The significance of the new study, Mr Zanos said in ANA-MPA, “is not only that these signals are detected for the first time, but also that we have created a methodology that we want to apply to other nerves and the brain, so in order to detect similar signs for other diseases other than those related to immune and inflammation.

We already apply it to metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Furthermore, laboratories are working, as my brother Stavros Zanou, who is also a professor at the Feinstein Institute, are investigating ways to use the vagus nerve to treat cardio-respiratory and neurological diseases. ”

Bioelectronic medicine is an emerging field that combines neuroscience, molecular biology and biomechanics to exploit the nervous system to treat illness and wounds without the use of drugs. There are already valid indications that bioelectronic medicine can open new ways of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, bowel Crohn’s disease, diabetes, paralysis, lupus erythematosus, etc.

“Zano’s findings are a breakthrough in the field of bioelectronics. For some time now we know that the nervous system communicates with the brain. Now we can learn the language he uses to communicate, which will allow us to help the body to heal itself, “said Kevin Tracy’s chairman of the Feinstein Institute.