Lasers that switch cocaine addiction on and off
2013 04 12

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

EU on high alert as Germany accepts Ebola patients
2014 07 30
A German hospital has agreed to treat Ebola patients amid widespread fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly disease in Europe. Over 670 people have already been killed by the disease in West Africa with doctors struggling to control the epidemic. A German hospital in Hamburg agreed to accept patients following a request from the World Health Organization (WHO), Deutsche ...
Bolivia declares Israel terrorist regime
2014 07 30
Bolivia has declared Israel a “terrorist state” and revoked a visa exemption agreement with Tel Aviv in protest at the ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip. The move "means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state," President Evo Morales said during talks with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba ...
Pagan Traditions: Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England’s churches
2014 07 30
Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages? A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England. Armed with just a torch and a ...
More Gigantic Holes Appear in Siberia’s ’End of the World’
2014 07 30
Is it the end of the world in Siberia’s ’End of the World’? Scientists suspect not, but they’re still investigating the strange and alarming holes that are swallowing up the Siberian north. This week two new holes have been discovered, and with similar characteristics as the first reported hole: a very deep shaft with smooth sides, debris surrounding the rim, and water ...
BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
2014 07 30
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, ...
More News »