Light Therapy May Cure Alcohol Addiction

A new study suggests that light could be the ultimate fix for addicts. Researchers at the University of Buffalo and Wake Forest University have been experimenting with optogenetics (a technique that uses light to stimulate specific neurons) and discovered profound and lasting effects while working with lab rats, according to CNET. When scientists stimulated dopamine neurons in specific patterns, rats trained to behave like binge drinking humans simply stopped drinking. Even after treatments ceased, the rats continued to avoid available alcohol. Thanks to the experiment’s causal effect, “researchers say they now better understand the neurochemical basis of drug addiction and are hopeful that the approach could not only extend to humans but have implications beyond alcoholism.” Such progress could be a huge milestone in the search for a cure to addiction of all kinds. [CNet]