Lasers that switch cocaine addiction on and off
2013-04-12 0:00

By Charlie Osborne | SmartPlanet

Researchers are exploring how laser light can be used on the brain to inhibit addictive behavior — in particular, how you can turn “on and off” cocaine addiction in rats.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered that by stimulating particular areas of the brain with light, addictive behavior can be removed in rats — or used to encourage addiction to substances like cocaine.

By shining a laser light in the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex, the researchers say the compulsion to ingest cocaine was gone.

This particular area of the brain is associated with impulses and decision making, and studies have shown that both humans and rats with low activity ratings in the prefrontal cortex tend to be more at risk of becoming compulsively addicted to cocaine.

The scientists used genetic engineering to insert light-sensitive proteins into a rat’s prefrontal cortex. The team then activated this region using lasers, which turned the nerve cells on and off. Turning on the cells removed compulsive behavior, whereas switching them off turned non-addicted rats into addicts.

[...]

Read the full article at: smartplanet.com




Related Articles
Sun-powered lasers could vaporise asteroids before they get close to Earth
pewpew! NASA rover Curiosity shoots a Mars rock with laser
World’s most powerful laser fires most powerful laser blast ever
Psychologists Caning Patients "On the Buttocks" in New Addiction Treatment
China Uses Controversial Brain Surgery To Cure Drug Addiction
Swedish man gets disability benefits for "heavy metal addiction"
Is Drug Addiction Part of Human Evolution?
Scientists Use Laser To Give False Memories to Flies


Latest News from our Front Page

Your Smartphone Could be Tracking You Every 3 Minutes, Study Says
2015-04-01 2:24
Your apps want to know where you are Smartphone apps regularly collect large amounts of data on users’ locations, sometimes as often as every three minutes, new research suggests. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study where they asked 23 people to use their Android smartphones normally, and tracked location data requests from each device with specially designed software, the Wall ...
Facebook accused of tracking all users even if they delete accounts, ask never to be followed
2015-04-01 2:14
A new report claims that Facebook secretly installs tracking cookies on users’ computers, allowing them to follow users around the internet even after they’ve left the website, deleted their account and requested to be no longer followed. Academic researchers said that the report showed that the company was breaking European law with its tracking policies. The law requires that users are ...
'Gay cake' bakery discriminated against client over sexual orientation, court told
2015-04-01 2:37
David Scoffield QC, acting for the bakery, said if Lee’s argument was right, a Muslim printer could not turn down a contract to print leaflets about the prophet Muhammad, an atheist could not turn down an order saying God made the world and a Roman Catholic printer could not decline making leaflets calling for the legalisation of abortion on demand. Judge ...
Gay rights groups criticize Indiana religious liberties law
2015-04-01 0:10
Editor's note: Would it be ok if a court forced a bakery operated by homosexuals, to make a cake for a Christian that says: "Homosexuality is a sin"? What would the reactions be? One way tolerance? Respecting peoples beliefs extends in all directions or in no direction. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a religious liberties bill into law Thursday that has been ...
Daily Show's Trevor Noah under fire for Twitter jokes about Jews and women
2015-04-01 0:01
Trevor Noah – the surprise choice to succeed Jon Stewart as high-profile host of satirical news program The Daily Show – has come under fire for a series of controversial tweets he posted before his appointment. The South African comedian – son of a Swiss-German father and half-Jewish South African mother – was criticised for having made tasteless jokes about Jews ...
More News »