A new study can prove to be a break-through in brain using light and raising hopes for a new class of drugs to treat psychiatric diseases. The research could lead to pills being developed to combat depression, anxiety, paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
American scientists implanted special light-sensitive proteins into the brains of rodents and used fiber-optic filaments to stimulate and monitor the animals' responses.
The breakthrough process allows the researchers to control specific pathways in the rodents' brains and measure the effect of differing levels of light.
Dr Karoly Nikolich, of Circuit Therapeutics, said that it was very promising and they were heading for an entirely new chapter in how they could treat these conditions.
The major stumbling block in developing new drugs has been the restrictions on studying the human brain but bioengineering professor Karl Deisseroth, of Stanford University, in California, perfected a process called optogenetics.
This uses light to unravel the brain's wiring and behavior patterns. Scientists at Circuit Therapeutics took it a stage further with their research on the use of rodents.