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Nicotine primes brain for cocaine use: Molecular basis of gateway sequence of drug use
Date:11/2/2011

e dependency, compared with people who use cocaine first and then take up smoking.

"These studies raise interesting questions that can now be explored further in animal models," said study author Denise Kandel, a professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health. "Do alcohol and marijuanathe two other gateway drugsprime the brain by the same mechanism as nicotine? Is there a single mechanism for all gateway sequences, or does each sequence utilize a distinct mechanism?"

The results also emphasize the need for developing effective public health prevention programs encompassing all nicotine products, especially those targeted toward young people. Effective interventions not only would prevent smoking and its negative health consequences but could also decrease the risk of progression to chronic use of illicit drugs.
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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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