Cocaine dependence (or addiction) is physical and psychological dependency on the regular use of cocaine. It can result in severe physiological damage, psychosis, schizophrenia, lethargy, depression, or a potentially fatal overdose.
Cocaine causes specific alterations in the brain's circuitry at a genetic level, including short-term changes that result in a high from the cocaine, as well as long-term changes seen in addiction, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.
Researchers are now understanding in greater detail the molecular machinery underlying the short-term brain changes that produce the high of cocaine, as well as the longer-term changes behind addiction. Their findings offer hope for targeted drugs that can short-circuit that addiction machinery.
Cocaine dependence is a major public health problem affecting thousands of people around the globe. Despite years of active research there are still no approved medications for the treatment of this life-shattering addiction.
A new study builds on previous research showing that cocaine-addicted people have a low expression of specific dopamine receptors—D2 receptors—in a portion of the brain called the striatum.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have designed a potentially valuable tool for treating cocaine addiction by creating a modified "phage" virus that soaks up the drug inside the brain.
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center are the first to demonstrate that a combination of drug therapies targeting the region of the brain that controls drug abuse and addiction significantly reduces cocaine use in nonhuman primates.
Xenova Group plc has announced the presentation of results of two dose escalation Phase II studies of TA-CD, a vaccine being developed for the treatment of cocaine addiction, at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence 66th Annual Scientific Meeting in Puerto Rico, June 12-17.
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University are the first to demonstrate a combination of drug therapies targeting the region of the brain that controls drug abuse and addiction significantly reduces cocaine use in nonhuman primates.