AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


TSRI and NIH Scientists Show Molecule in Brain May Drive Cocaine Addiction

A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), suggests that increased levels of a molecule in the brain, called hypocretin, may contribute to cocaine addiction. The research shows that blocking hypocretin may reduce compulsive drug-seeking behavior in rat models of cocaine addiction. “Cocaine addiction is a disorder that affects millions of people worldwide,” said Marisa Roberto, professor in TSRI’s Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders (CNAD) and co-author of the study with Brooke Schmeichel, a former TSRI researcher now at NIDA, George Koob, the CNAD chairman currently on a leave of absence to direct the NIAAA, and Melissa Herman, a senior research associate at TSRI. To read more, click here.

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