Lasers And Magnets To Cure Addiction

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Currently, there is no perfect treatment option for addiction. Health risks, stress and the a high chance of relapse are omnipresent in any treatment, but recent research in rats may have found a better option.

Graeme McMillan writes at Digital Trends that scientists found a way to remove the compulsive need for a substance, in this case cocaine, by using lasers on the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex. Success in rats does not necessarily mean the same will work in humans and many may have some misgivings about having their brain exposed to lasers.

Doctors say, however, that they can accomplish the same thing without the lasers by using transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is already used in rare cases to treat depression. Instead of lasers, TMS uses magnets, or more specifically an electromagnetic field, to manipulate brain activity.

Clinical tests on humans using TMS are expected to start soon.

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