By On February 16th, 2006

New Neuro Finding Targets Addiction

Neuroscientists have recently learned that a certain molecule in the brain may be involved in addiction and craving. Researchers from UCSF claim:

“This is an exciting finding,” said Antonello Bonci, MD, senior author of the paper and UCSF associate professor of neurology, Howard J. Weinberger Chair in Addiction Research and principal investigator at the Gallo Center. “Not only can we see that orexin directly enables the neural communication underlying the development of addiction, but the research points to a novel target in the circuitry of addiction for new medicines to counter the craving for drugs of abuse, or to prevent relapse.”

Studies have shown that addicts seek treatment during periods of abstinence. The team’s demonstration of orexin’s ability to counter cocaine-craving in mice suggests its promise in preventing cured addicts from relapsing to their drug habit, he adds.

In other words, there may be a drug or treatment process that prevents addicted individuals from feeling the high and the craving that they get from drugs. Read more about the findings here.

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