New research suggests that being able to recall happy memories may ease depression. Researchers at MIT say it may be a process of fixing the broken wiring in the brain that contributes to depression.

Happy or pleasurable memories help the brain to be resilient in times of depression. Recalling good memories is dependent on neurons in the hippocampus. To study how neurons work, researchers used a process with light activation.

In mice with depression, researchers studied the activation of neurons after a happy experience. The mice acted as if they were never depressed! So, in activating neurons in deep brain stimulation, the researchers were able to bypass the normal wiring and promote positive memories.

The ability to understand how the brain circuitry works is key to developing therapies for depression, and perhaps other diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s’ Disease.

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