Navigation Links
Cocaine: Perceived as a reward by the brain?
Date:5/19/2009

This release is available in French.

Montreal, May 19th 2009 - Cocaine is one of the oldest drugs known to humans, and its abuse has become widespread since the end of the 19th century. At the same time, we know rather little about its effects on the human brain or the mechanisms that lead to cocaine addiction. The latest article by Dr. Marco Leyton, of the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre, which was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry on May 15, 2009, not only demonstrates a link between cocaine and the reward circuits in the brain but also associates the susceptibility to addiction with these mechanisms.

The results of this study show that sniffing cocaine triggers high levels of dopamine secretion in a central region of the brain called the striatum. Dopamine is known to play a critical role in the brain's response to reward as well as in its response to addictive drugs.

This study was carried out in ten non-addicted users of cocaine, all of whom sniffed cocaine on one test day and placebo powder on another. Participants underwent blood tests before and after taking the drug, and dopamine release in the brain was measured using PET scans.

"The ability of cocaine to activate dopamine release varies markedly from person to person. Our study suggests that this is related to how much of the drug the person consumed in the past," explained Dr. Leyton. The more cocaine someone has used in his or her lifetime, the more the brain will secrete dopamine during subsequent cocaine use. "It's possible therefore that the intensity of the reward-circuit response is related to increased susceptibility to addiction," stated Dr. Leyton.

Although the relationship between the intensity of dopamine secretion and the frequency of drug use has been demonstrated, researchers still do not fully understand its mechanism of action. Is it the repeated stimulation of the reward circuit that leads to addiction, or is it an inherent sensitivity to addiction that leads to the increased secretion of dopamine? This question is not easy to answer, especially since other factors come into play, such as other aspects of the subject's personal history.

Whatever the answer, the relationship between dopamine and cocaine means that this hormone could be a potential target for treatment against addiction. More research is required before treatments are available, but this study opens a new door in this direction.


'/>"/>

Contact: Isabelle Kling
isabelle.kling@muhc.mcgill.ca
514-843-1560
McGill University Health Centre
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cocaine: How addiction develops
2. Phasic firing of dopamine neurons is key to brains prediction of rewards
3. Small changes can lead to big rewards, says ASN president
4. Risk and reward compete in brain
5. Obesity predisposition traced to the brains reward system
6. How does the opioid system control pain, reward and addictive behavior?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a company ... of a new series of commercials on Time Warner Cable ... .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, Fox Business ... show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... the airing of a new series of commercials on Time ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... India , March 10, 2016 ... a new market research report "Identity and Access Management ... & Audit, Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, by ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated ... USD 12.78 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... GARDENS, Fla. , March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... management authentication and enrollment solutions, today announced the ... DigitalPersona ® Altus multi-factor authentication platform. ... and InfoSec managers to step-up security where it,s ... Washington, DC . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) responded ... Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement approach to interoperability that focuses ... and where it was needed. The organization of health informatics professionals said a ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. (Biohaven) ... company’s orphan drug designation request covering BHV-4157 for the treatment of Spinocerebellar Ataxia ... , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a rare, debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that is estimated ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization for ... and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo and a ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry ... 10:15 a.m. ET before the United States House Committee on ... can play in controlling the spread of the Aedes ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) ... self-limiting gene. Trials in Brazil , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: