Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News - "Scientists Identify Potential Target for Treating Cocaine Addiction"

 – April 23, 2012 /Press Release/  –– 

Scientists report new insights into the mechanism by which repeated exposure to cocaine induces addiction. The researchers, led by a team at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Fishberg Department of Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute, showed in mice that overexpression of a dominant negative mutant of a gene called Rac1 or local knockout of the native gene was enough to increase the density of immature dendritic spines on certain neurons, without cocaine administration. “The research gives us new information on how cocaine affects the brain’s reward center and how it could potentially be repaired,” Dr. Eric Nestler says. Learn more