Navigation Links
'Erasing' drug-associated memories may stop drug addiction relapses
Date:8/12/2008

'Erasing' drug-associated memories may prevent recovering drug abusers from relapsing, researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered.

The team, led by Professor Barry Everitt, was able to reduce drug-seeking behaviours in rats by blocking a brain chemical receptor important to learning and memory during the recall of drug-associated memories. Their research, which was funded by the Medical Research Council, was reported in the 13 August issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

The Cambridge scientists found that by disrupting or erasing memories associated with drug use during recall, they could prevent the memories from triggering relapses and drug taking.

Memories exist in different states depending on whether they are being recalled or not. When memories are recalled, they become 'unstable' or malleable and can be altered or erased during the process called reconsolidation. Because relapse by drug abusers is often prompted when they recall drug-associated memories, the scientists found that by blocking these memories they could prevent relapse.

In order to undertake the experiments, the researchers trained rats to associate the switching on of a light with cocaine. The researchers then exposed the rats to the light, thereby 'reactivating' the memory, without the cocaine. In an effort to receive more cocaine, the rats would perform tasks that the scientists had created which would turn on the light.

When the animals were given a chemical that interfered with the action of the NMDA-type glutamate receptor (which plays an important role in memory) prior to the 'reactivation' session, the rats showed reduced cocaine-seeking behaviours. A single treatment reduced or even stopped drug-seeking behaviours for up to four weeks.

In contrast, blocking the receptors after or without the reactivation session had no effect on subsequent drug-seeking behaviours, indicating that drug-associated memories can be disrupted during but not after reconsolidation of memories.

Professor Barry Everitt said, "The results suggest that efforts should be made to develop drugs that could be given in a controlled clinical or treatment environment in which addicts would have their most potent drug memories reactivated. Such treatments would be expected to diminish the effects of those memories in the future and help individuals resist relapse and maintain their abstinence."

Dr Amy Milton, a co-author, said, "This is a new approach to the treatment of drug addiction that has great potential. Additionally, this might also be used to treat other neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by maladaptive memories, including post-traumatic stress and phobic anxiety disorders."


'/>"/>

Contact: Genevieve Maul
genevieve.maul@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-233-32300
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists find elephant memories may hold key to survival
2. CSHL scientists identify a mechanism that helps fruit flies lock-in memories
3. Genetic tags reveal secrets of memories staying power in mice
4. Tracking feline memories on the move
5. Memory molecule stores memories in neocortex
6. Corals addiction to junk food
7. Hungry mothers risk addiction in their adult children
8. Cognitive, genetic clues identified in imaging study of alcohol addiction
9. Can plant-based ethanol save us from our fossil fuel addiction?
10. New genetic research into nicotine addiction shows promise for personalized treatment
11. Nicotinic receptors may be important targets for treatment of multiple addictions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017 Former 9/11 ... Senate Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of Identity ... President Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the ... (Jan. 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ,Travel ... Circuit has now essentially banned the travel ban, it ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... an individual,s voice to match it against a ... voice such as pitch, cadence, and tone are ... systems require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs ... remotely for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... point. Driven largely by the confluence of organizations, ... users, distaste for knowledge-based systems (password and challenge ... consumer, industrial, and government systems. The market is ... been a demarcation between consumer and enterprise uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 22, ... ... company, today announced that is has acquired Kendall Research Systems, LLC ... of Technology (MIT) that develops neural interface technology for research and clinical applications. ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 Scientists propose in ... organ damage in Gaucher and maybe other lysosomal storage ... lower costs than current therapies. An international ... Center , which also included investigators from the University ... their data Feb. 22. The study was conducted in ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots ... scientists from around the world, is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Precision ... 2017. This premier, online-only conference focused on the development and advancements in precision ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin Agritech, LLC, a ... and seed provider, and Arcadia (Arcadia Biosciences, ... develops and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional products, today announced ... biotechnology product developed in China to ... trials. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: