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"Using Cocaine Once Alters Your Brain’s Reward Circuit Forever, Study On Mice Reveals" - Kashmira Gander

  • Newsweek
  • New York, NY
  • (June 01, 2018)

Using cocaine, even once, has been shown to change the brain’s reward circuitry in a new study on mice. The researchers examined how six parts of the brain in control of the response to reward react when the rodents used cocaine. And while the response of mice isn't entirely comparable to humans, the researchers believe their findings could form the basis of further research into cocaine use, addiction and treatment. ”The experimental design thus allowed us to study how gene expression across brain reward regions changes over time as a result of volitional cocaine intake," said lead author Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, dean of academic and scientific affairs and director of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Unlike other studies that honed in one specific gene, parts of the brain or factor of addiction, this paper tried to tie these factors together. Such studies are important. The latest figures on cocaine use in the U.S. by the State Department show that more people were using the drug in 2017 than ever before and it was easier to buy.

- Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, Dean, Academic and Scientific Affairs, Director, Friedman Brain Institute, Professor, Neuroscience, Pharmacological Sciences, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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