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Scientists have figured out how to "sit down" on cocaine

August 15 2008

Researchers from Sweden and Germany revealed the mechanism of dependence on one of the most powerful drugs - cocaine.

Scientists at the Swedish University in Linköping and the German Research Center DKFZ cancers studied the effect of drugs on the brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter (signal substance of the brain) dopamine - a substance associated in particular with a sense of fun. Dopamine-producing neurons are one of the main elements of the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure.

Addictive drugs, including cocaine, increase the content of dopamine, which affects other nerve cells and causes various physical and mental reactions characteristic of addiction. The study authors conducted experiments on mice, which was formed by cocaine addiction. Scientists have blocked the dopamine neurons in the glutamic acid receptor - a neurotransmitter. As a result, craving for drugs and the risk of recurrence in mice disappeared.

When a person uses cocaine, the number of glutamate receptors increases, which makes nerve cells more excitable. If you block this process, we can prevent the relapse of drug addiction.

Mechanism uncovered by scientists, opening up new possibilities for treating cocaine addiction in the future. In particular, it will be possible to create a "vaccine" from the recurrence of drug abuse for those who are "tied" to drug use. But for this, they note, will require further research, writes Pravda.Ru

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