A team of scientists from Canada claim to have made a major technological development in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
According to an article in the journal Biomedical Microdevices, the researchers have created a "unique window" into the workings of the brain through the "brain on a microchip".
Nerves cells have been mounted on silicon chips to imitate the functioning of the brain, allowing scientists to watch how the cells work and understand how neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's affects this process.
Reacting to the study, Dr Kieran Breen of the charity Parkinson's UK said that how and why the nerves cells of people with the condition die is still a mystery, but this development will help.
"There are also exciting possibilities for using these neurochips as a tool for rapid screening of potential new drugs," he added.
Parkinson's UK is currently looking for volunteers to raise money for research through the Great South Run in Portsmouth on October 24th.
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