Laser Turns Off Cocaine Addiction in Rats

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1796 days ago

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"A laser turns off cocaine addiction in rats.

Researchers from California and Maryland have found a way to ease cocaine addiction in rats.

Using lasers the scientists were able to isolate the part of the brain associated with impulse behavior and reduce the rat's compulsive lever pressing habit that delivered a cocaine infusion.

For eight weeks the rats were given unlimited access to the addictive stimulant. After that, they had to work a little harder for it by enduring shocks to the foot every time they partook.

Some slowed down their consumption and some just carried on. Scientists isolated the source of trouble as a cocaine-induced lowered responsiveness in the prelimbic cortex.

The team successfully used lasers to stimulate the compromised brains of the most addicted rats and as a result the self-destructive behavior slowed.

Luckily, the particular rats used in the study had been genetically engineered to respond to lasers as brains typically don't.

The study has progressed to testing on humans and the lasers have been replaced by magnetic stimuli.

Present addiction treatment options include both medication and behavioral intervention."


"I wanted to stop, so why couldn’t I? What was up with that? Denial, addiction’s long shadow, is vital to the addict’s psyche."


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