Washington: Stimulating a certain part of the brain with magnets can wipe away cocaine addiction, scientists claim. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have shown that by stimulating a part of the brain with laser light, they can wipe away addictive behaviour in rats - or conversely turn non-addicted rats into compulsive cocaine seekers. "When we turn on a laser light in the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex, the compulsive cocaine seeking is gone," said Antonello Bonci, scientific director of the intramural research programme at the NIH`s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), where the work was done. The study demonstrates the central role the prefrontal cortex plays in compulsive cocaine addiction. It also suggests a new therapy that could be tested immediately in humans, said Billy Chen of NIDA, the lead author of the study.
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