Scientists heal rats from alcoholism with a laser

Representatives of the scientific organization Scripps Research said they were able to cure experimental rodents of addiction to alcohol by physically destroying target neurons in the brain. To do this, they used a low-power, high-precision laser that neutralized tiny areas of the brain. The study authors say the technique has a high potential for use in humans.

A fiber optic system was implanted into the rats' brains, which delivered energy impulses to specific areas, inhibiting them. Thus, the connections responsible for the formation of the negative effect of alcohol dependence were destroyed. What's more, scientists say they've even managed to reduce physical withdrawal symptoms.

“The most exciting thing was that the treatment was just the flip of a switch, ” said Scripps professor Olivier George in an interview with Digital Trends. “It’s very simple and so fast that we didn’t believe - how can you so easily defeat the long-term craving for alcohol, if you translate it into human concepts.”

Alas, the application of this technique requires advanced technologies that have not yet been approved for use in humans - so many years will pass before the appearance of effective addiction inhibitors.