By Mia De Graaf Health Editor For Dailymail.com
Published: 16:37 BST, 16 April 2018 | Updated: 16:41 BST, 16 April 2018
Scientists have successfully treated depression in mice using brain stimulation - paving the way to a drug-free alternative for mental health care.
Tens of millions of Americans are hooked on highly-addictive and costly medication that relieves their anxiety and depression but triggers debilitating withdrawal symptoms if they try to come off.
As the rate of depression soars in America, scientists are scrambling to identify alternative treatments for patients.
Now, a team at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has shown that a pathway in brain circuitry can be stimulated to create 'antidepressive' behavior in animals.
A team at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has shown a brain pathway can be stimulated to create 'antidepressive' behavior in mice, sparking hope for drug-free treatment in humans
The study, published today in Nature Medicine, has been hailed as a potential breakthrough in mental health care.
'Major depressive disorder is a serious health problem worldwide. Existing treatments are helpful for many people, but also have a high rate of relapse and significant side effects,' said study leader Dr Amelia J Eisch, a neurobiology researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
'Because scientists consider depression to be caused by malfunctions in brain circuitry, we suggest that "tuning" a specific circuit