OPTOGENETICS- A BRIEF REVIEWAbstract
Optogenetics (a branch of biotechnology) is a biological tool used in the field of neuroscience that encompasses a combination of techniques from optics and genetics to study the functioning of individual neurons in a living tissue. Spatio-temporal precision in neuronal control can be achieved using optogenetic actuators or reporters and sensors or indicators. The present review highlights the brief history of optogenetics, opsins- the functional unit in optogenetics, and the design of optogenetic experiments to study behaviour in normal function or disease models. The review also discusses the limitations of the technique and its applications in various behavioural and neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety, fear, depression, addiction, autism and Parkinsonism. Looking back at the rate of progress over the last few years, it is reasonable to predict and believe that the molecular techniques for optogenetics will continue to evolve rapidly and that the applications of these methods will continue to expand.