As the research progressed, Dewey and his colleagues realized that GVG might be useful in the treatment of drug addiction. They tested their surprising hypothesis over the past several years, and arrived at the conclusions published today in Synapse.
"Because cocaine addiction is part biochemistry and part behavior, these results confirm that it is possible to attack it on both fronts," said Charles Ashby, the St. John's University researcher who led the behavioral component of the study.
"One must always be cautious, however," said Brodie. "A serious clinical investigation is the logical consequence to this most exciting preclinical work."
"Now", said Dewey, "the challenge is to see if GVG has the same effect on other addictions that involve the same set of neurotransmitters."
The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.