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:11/4/2014)... the right amount of death at the right time ... to new research that could help in understanding animal ... , In a paper in the journal Trends ... and European colleagues conclude that the kind of positive ... of individuals, or mortality, depends on the size and ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... about the way our bodies are assembled during early ... they are supposed to become a nerve or a ... correct place and alignment? Researchers at the University of ... a new study, UM researchers describe the signaling systems ... at the head-trunk region. Their discovery may have important ...
(Date:11/4/2014)...   3D scanner ... Fuel3D , a developer of 3D scanning solutions, ... $6.4 million (£4 million). This funding builds on the company,s ... and paves the way for the commercial launch of the ... round was led by Chimera Partners and will be used ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):When less is more: Death in moderation boosts population density in nature 2The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 3
(Date:11/26/2014)... NJ (PRWEB) November 25, 2014 ... has officially joined the Morris County (New Jersey) ... which is a leading business organization in the ... opportunity to further engage some key clients in ... operations in the geographic area. Membership enables Whitehouse ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 Silicon Valley Electronic Data Capture ... RPM Alliance , provider of clinical research and data ... latest addition to its CRO Partnership Program, Clinovo expands ... to India. , “We have found Clinovo’s ClinCapture ... EDC platform which is both user friendly and easy ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 25, 2014 The Pittcon marketing department ... conference and exposition mobile app, Pittcon ... in the App Store for iOS and Android devices ... tool before, during and after the event. It acts ... exhibiting companies, technical sessions, Conferee Networking sessions and short ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 Miles Holder, formerly of Micron ... Carbon Products team as Sales/Marketing Manager. Mr. Holder has ... service for the graphite industry. , “We are thrilled ... stated Dave Trinkley, VP of Market and Product Development ... experience in the graphite industry, along with his proven ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Whitehouse Laboratories Joins Morris County Chamber of Commerce 2Whitehouse Laboratories Joins Morris County Chamber of Commerce 3RPM Alliance Joins Clinovo’s CRO Partnership Program, Further Strengthening Its Presence in Southern California and India 2Pittcon Releases 2015 Mobile App 2Miles Holder Joins Graphel Corporation as Sales/Marketing Manager 2
Cached News: