NIDA Logo Time-lapse fluorescence microendoscopy, a technique employing miniature probes to directly visualize specific cells appears extremely beneficial in the health-space. A groundbreaking research suggests that time-lapse technique helps visualize alterations taking place within deep regions of the brain at the cellular level. The research findings may help understand effects of drugs in the living brain at the neural circuitry, individual neuron, and neuronal dendrite levels.

At the time of the investigation, scientists used the time-lapse technique to directly see specific cells over a period of time, explore structural modifications that occur in neurons due to tumor formation and heightened stimulation in the mouse brain. Analyzing the brain with this technology can supposedly offer greater information on the way brain adapts to changing situations, like repeated exposure to drug. In the current research, experts examined two brain regions the hippocampus and striatum.

“Continued drug use leads to changes in neuronal circuits that are evident well after a person stops taking an addictive substance. This study demonstrates an innovative technique that allows for a glimpse of these cellular changes within the brain regions implicated in drug reward, providing an important tool in our understanding and treatment of addiction,” elucidated,Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of NIDA.

A shift in activity within the striatum is presumably involved in the progression of voluntary drug-taking to addiction. The unique technique was apparently capable of highlighting the way these processes take place at the cellular level. Scrutinizing the activities within striatum may lead to better understanding of the mechanisms underlying addictive behaviors. The research findings seem to have great importance in the health zone.

The research was published in Nature Medicine.