Neuroscience

Promising new drug targets for cocaine addiction found

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified a new molecular mechanism by which cocaine alters the brain's reward circuits and causes addiction. Published online in the journal Proceedings ...

Neuroscience

Study in mice links cocaine use to new brain structures

Mice given cocaine showed rapid growth in new brain structures associated with learning and memory, according to a research team from the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco. The findings suggest a ...

Neuroscience

Resetting addicted brain: Laser light zaps away cocaine addiction

By stimulating one part of the brain with laser light, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have shown that they can wipe away addictive ...

Medical research

Morphine and cocaine affect reward sensation differently

(Medical Xpress)—A new study by scientists in the US has found that the opiate morphine and the stimulant cocaine act on the reward centers in the brain in different ways, contradicting previous theories that these types ...

Neuroscience

Brain research reveals a circuit for cocaine relapse

Approximately 1.5 million Americans use cocaine in a given year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Many are repeat users. Unfortunately, there are currently no FDA-approved medicinal treatments for cocaine ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Women's hormones play role in drug addiction, higher relapse rates

Women's hormonal cycles may not only make them more prone to drug addiction but also more affected by triggers that lead to relapse, a new Vanderbilt University study revealed. The findings are especially significant since ...

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Cocaine

Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is both a stimulant of the central nervous system and an appetite suppressant. Specifically, it is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which mediates functionality of such as an exogenous DAT ligand. Because of the way it affects the mesolimbic reward pathway, cocaine is addictive.

Its possession, cultivation, and distribution are illegal for non-medicinal and non-government sanctioned purposes in virtually all parts of the world. Although its free commercialization is illegal and has been severely penalized in virtually all countries, its use worldwide remains widespread in many social, cultural, and personal settings.

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