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:


(Date:3/14/2016)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... the airing of a new series of commercials on Time ... 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, ... the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... market, announces the airing of a new series of commercials ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution ... Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving ... The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy ... in February and will run until May 2016. --> ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, ... Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, in a ... 9 th year of the FLEXI Awards and ... individuals from past years . Judging was done ... set of criteria, by a panel of non-affiliated, independent, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , April ... UTHR ) announced today that Martine Rothblatt , ... will provide an overview and update on the company,s ... Health Care Conference. The presentation will take ... Eastern Time, and can be accessed via a live ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... Advisory Board. Ross is the founder of GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , ... he studied hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... today announced that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as Chief Business Officer. ... experience bringing innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently Chief Commercial Officer ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... BioFactura, Inc ., a biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing ... Healthy investor interest drove significant oversubscription of the original $1.5M target. The funds ... the advanced preclinical stages. , Chief Executive Officer and President, Darryl Sampey ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: