Israeli Scientists Tweak Brains To Cause Illness


from Great Game India:

Researchers at the Technion have conducted their research on mice and successfully made mice sick using their neurons alone. After this success, researchers believe they may have laid foundations for brain-based cures to inflammation in humans.

Scientists in Israel say they have studied in detail the phenomenon by which the brain can make the body sick. And they believe that they can stop inflammation in the bowel, colon and elsewhere by making tweaks in the behavior of gray matter.


Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that inflammation suddenly appeared when they activated certain combinations of neurons in healthy mice, who had no physical problems at all. This study illustrates the capability of the brain to initiate physical illness and shows how it happens.

The experiment was conducted on dozens of mice and it shows that some psychosomatic illness is caused by the brain that replicates an episode of physically induced illness to the body.

The Technion scientists, working in collaboration with scholars from the University of Haifa and EMMS Hospital in Nazareth, studied the combination of neurons in mice when they suffer from induced inflammation (in colon or abdomen) in mice, and then waited for them to recover.

Then, they activated the identical combination of neurons and were successful in inducing the inflammation in the same location.

“This suggests that the brain stores some kind of representation of inflammatory conditions that mice experience, and has a way of causing the same inflammation,” Prof. Asya Rolls, the neuroimmunologist who led the study, told The Times of Israel.

“While there is a gap between experiments in mice and understanding humans, this opens up a new line of investigation for psychosomatic illness in humans.

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