Drugs are addictive because they “hijack” the brain’s reward system, which is actually intended to make it pleasurable to eat and have sex, behaviors that are necessary for survival and reproduction.
This “hijacking” is extremely long-lived and often leads to relapses into abuse, especially when the individual is exposed to stimuli in the surroundings that are associated with the drug. In an article in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience the research team can now show that a receptor for the signal substance glutamate (mGluR5), in a part of the brain called the striatum, plays a major role in relapses.
The study, led by David Engblom, associate professor of neurobiology at Linköping University in Sweden, looks at what happens in individuals who lack the glutamate receptor. The experiments were performed on mice that were taught to ingest cocaine.
“Our findings show that the mice who lacked the receptor were less prone to relapse. This is due the fact that their reaction to reward had not been etched into their memories in the same ways as in normal mice. The receptor seems to be a prerequisite for objects or environments that were previously associated with taking drugs, or something else rewarding, to create a craving,” says David Engblom.
He hopes that these findings and other studies of mechanisms underlying drug addiction can lead to forms of treatment based on what goes wrong in the brain of an addict.
Article: Incentive learning underlying cocaine-seeking requires mGluR5 receptors located on dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons by M. Novak, B. Halbout, E.C. O´Connor, J. Rordriguez Parkitna, T. Su, M, Chai, H.S. Crombag, A. Bilbao, R. Spanagel, D.N. Stephens, G. Schütz och D. Engblom. The Journal of Neuroscience, September 8, 2010, 30(36):11973-11982; doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2550-10.2010
Contact: David Engblom, phone: +46 (0)10-1038448; mobile: +46 (0)70-2611302; firstname.lastname@example.org
Pressofficer Åke Hjelm, email@example.com; +46-1328 1395
Åke Hjelm | idw
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Life Sciences