HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Cocaine harms brain's 'pleasure center,' addict study finds

Finding may aid understanding of addiction, depression, normal aging

ANN ARBOR, MI New research results strongly suggest that cocaine bites the hand that feeds it, in essence, by harming or even killing the very brain cells that trigger the "high" that cocaine users feel.

This first-ever direct finding of cocaine-induced damage to key cells in the human brain's dopamine "pleasure center" may help explain many aspects of cocaine addiction, and perhaps aid the development of anti-addiction drugs. It also could help scientists understand other disorders involving the same brain cells, including depression.

The results are the latest from research involving postmortem brain tissue samples from cocaine abusers and control subjects, performed at the University of Michigan Health System and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The paper will appear in the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

"This is the clearest evidence to date that the specific neurons cocaine interacts with don't like it and are disturbed by the drug's effects," says Karley Little, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School and chief of the VAHS Affective Neuropharmacology Laboratory. "The questions we now face are: Are the cells dormant or damaged, is the effect reversible or permanent, and is it preventable?"

Little and his colleagues report results from 35 known cocaine abusers and 35 non-drug users of about the same age, sex, race and causes of death. Using brain samples normally removed during autopsy, the researchers measured several indicators of the health of the subjects' dopamine brain cells, which release a pleasure-signaling chemical called dopamine. The cells interact directly with cocaine.

The team looked at levels of a protein called VMAT2, as well as VMAT2's binding to a selective radiotracer molecule, and overall dopamine level.

In all three, cocaine users' levels were signif
'"/>

Contact: Kara Gavin
umhsmedia@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
1-Jan-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. Cocaine use in warm environments impairs bodys cooling mechanisms -- and can be lethal
2. Cocaine use while pregnant may cause ADHD
3. Fruit Flies May Shed Light On Cocaine Addiction
4. Imaging Studies Illuminate Brains Response To Cocaine
5. OHSU Scientists Discover Mice Lacking Dopamine Receptor Are Supersensitive To Alcohol, Cocaine And Methamphetamine
6. Rock climbing harms cliff ecosystems
7. Making sense of the brains mind-boggling complexity
8. The brains flashy tale
9. Leptin rewires the brains feeding circuits
10. Estrogen promotes gender differences in brains response to stress
11. Pain and the brain: Sex, hormones & genetics affect brains pain control system

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Cocaine harms brain pleasure center addict study finds

(Date:7/24/2014)... gathered at NJIT this week for an all-day public ... Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dredge toxic sediment from ... The EPA has called the plan, which proposes removing ... sections of the riverbed, one of the largest cleanups ... dredged and disposed off-site. , "We need to ensure ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... To reduce fire hazard in the United States, wildland ... woody shrubs and suppressed trees (ladder fuels). These ... periods of low fire danger in order to dispose ... hazardous air pollutants, managers often cover all or part ... referred to as agricultural plastic, in order to keep ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... by the New Jersey Recovery Fund and conducted by ... and Public Policy at Rutgers University has found that ... the likelihood of community-based rebuilding solutions. Of the more ... were "pessimistic" or "very pessimistic" that the parts of ... better than they were before the storm; another 24 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Experts Weigh the Pros and Cons of a $1.7 Billion EPA Cleanup Plan for the Passaic River at an NJIT 2Study gives new perspective on agricultural plastic, debris burning, and air quality 2Rutgers study explores attitudes, preferences toward post-Sandy rebuilding 2
(Date:7/25/2014)... WABC Radio show out of New York City, ... will be hosting California-based Vet-Stem, Inc.’s Founder and CEO, Robert ... pets. Dr. Harman first visited the show in November ... pets suffering from osteoarthritis and other degenerative diseases, as well ... , Young has invited Dr. Harman back to dial down ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... (PRWEB) July 25, 2014 The Conferee ... for Topics for Conferee Networking. These two-hour sessions provide ... to meet and resolve problems, discuss new techniques, or ... deadline to submit a topic for consideration is August ... pittcon.org . The Conferee Networking committee will review the ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... California (PRWEB) July 25, 2014 Lawrence ... named to Thomson Reuters list of " The World's ... are part of the 3,000 researchers who were identified ... to recognize those who published the highest-impact work (2002-2012 ... research papers on combustion modeling . , "This ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... , July 25, 2014  Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. ... company focused on the development and commercialization of a ... and cholesterol gallstones, today announced financial results for the ... 2014 Financial Summary: , Reported cash and cash ... with $137,000 at December 31, 2013.  , Reported ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Robert J. Harman, DVM, Founder and CEO of Vet-Stem, Inc. to Join New York Radio Host Lorry Young in Upcoming Episode of A “Paws” For Your Pet 2Robert J. Harman, DVM, Founder and CEO of Vet-Stem, Inc. to Join New York Radio Host Lorry Young in Upcoming Episode of A “Paws” For Your Pet 3Pittcon 2015 Announces Call for Topics for Conferee Networking Sessions 2Scientists Burst onto Influential List for Combustion Research 2Scientists Burst onto Influential List for Combustion Research 3Scientists Burst onto Influential List for Combustion Research 4Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 2Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 3Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 4Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 5Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 6
Cached News: