Scientists Hack Mouse Brains to "Erase" Opioid Addiction

One of the hardest parts of treating addiction is keeping patients from relapsing. Now, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences say that they’ve “interrupted the brain pathway responsible for morphine-associated memories in mice, that is, ‘erasing’ the drug-associated memory from the brain.” To treat the mice, the team gave them brain implants: a fiber optic that shined light onto a region called the paraventricular thalamus and blocked withdrawal symptoms. A day later, the mice no longer sought out morphine and relapse — or at least do the lab mouse version of relapsing — even after two weeks.

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