Nav: Home

Potential new treatment for cocaine addiction

August 31, 2016

A team of researchers led by Cardiff University has discovered a promising new drug treatment for cocaine addiction.

The experimental therapy, which involves administering a drug currently used in cancer therapy trials, treats cocaine addiction by inhibiting memories responsible for cravings.

Professor Riccardo Brambilla from Cardiff University's School of Biosciences said: "We have demonstrated that a single administration of a trial drug from the pharmacompany Pfizer can completely obliterate cocaine associated memories and significantly accelerate the end of drug seeking behaviour in animals. With this drug currently being used in cancer trials, it could be easily repositioned for treatment of cocaine addiction and other drugs of abuse."

Cocaine produces its addictive effects partially by acting on the brain's limbic system - a set of interconnected regions that regulate pleasure and motivation. When a person uses cocaine, memories of the intense pleasure felt and the things associated with it are newly created. It is these long lasting memories and drug-associated cues, key to the transition from recreational drug taking to compulsive drug use, which the new treatment inhibited when tested on mice.

Dr Stefania Fasano from Cardiff University added, "With drug use recently on the rise, new treatments for breaking addiction are much needed. The availability of a powerful drug from Pfizer, already validated in humans, could speed up the clinical development of our findings."

This was an experimental study in mice, which allows for conclusions to be made about cause and effect in this species. To learn about the effect of this treatment in people experimental trials with humans will be necessary.
-end-
The research is published in the journal eLife: https://elifesciences.org/content/5/e17111

Cardiff University

Related Cocaine Articles:

Cocaine addiction leads to build-up of iron in brain
Cocaine addiction may affect how the body processes iron, leading to a build-up of the mineral in the brain, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.
Potential new treatment for cocaine addiction
A team of researchers led by Cardiff University has discovered a promising new drug treatment for cocaine addiction.
Study using animal model provides clues to why cocaine is so addictive
Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are one step closer to understanding what causes cocaine to be so addictive.
Magnetic stimulation of the brain may help patients with cocaine addiction
Baltimore, MD Targeted magnetic pulses to the brain were shown to reduce craving and substance use in cocaine-addicted patients.
New insights on how cocaine changes the brain
The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users, finds a study published Nov.
UK awarded $6 million to further develop treatment for cocaine abuse
University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy Professor Chang-Guo Zhan, along with fellow UK Professors Fang Zheng and Sharon Walsh, and Professor Mei-Chuan Ko from Wake Forest University, recently received $6 million in funding over five years to further develop a potential treatment for cocaine abuse.
Cocaine addiction, craving and relapse
One of the major challenges of cocaine addiction is the high rate of relapse after periods of withdrawal and abstinence.
Which is most valuable: Gold, cocaine or rhino horn?
Elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, gorillas and the majority of other very large animal species are threatened with extinction, an international team of scientists reported this month in the open-access online journal Science Advances.
Cocaine changes the brain and makes relapse more common in addicts
Cocaine use causes 'profound changes' in the brain that lead to an increased risk of relapse due to stress -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
WSU researchers see way cocaine hijacks memory
Washington State University researchers have found a mechanism in the brain that facilitates the pathologically powerful role of memory in drug addiction.

Related Cocaine Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...