Signs of depression can be turned on and off in mice with the flip of a switch. Activating or silencing the behavior of certain brain cells with laser light causes the animals to change their depressive behavior, two new studies find.

Although the experiments were done in rodents, the results have direct relevance to human depression, says neurologist Helen Mayberg of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. The new work may point out places in the human brain that doctors can similarly stimulate to treat depression.

This is some encouraging news regarding a potential non-drug treatment for this human scourge. To read more, click here.