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Gallo Center study in mice links cocaine use to new brain structures
Date:8/25/2013

highest quantity of robust dendritic spines the spines with the greatest likelihood of developing into synapses showed the greatest change in preference toward the chamber where they received the cocaine," said Wilbrecht. "This suggests that the new spines might be material for the association that these mice have learned to make between the chamber and the drug."

Wilbrecht noted that the research would not have been possible without live brain imaging via the 2-photon laser scanning microscope, which was developed in 2002. "I grew up at the time of the famous public service campaign that showed a pan of frying eggs with the message, 'this is your brain on drugs,'" recalled Wilbrecht. "Now, with this microscope, we can actually say, 'this is a brain cell on drugs.'"


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Contact: Jeffrey Norris
jeff.norris@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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