Researchers find alterations in brain’s circuitry caused by cocaine
‘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.
Such findings suggest possible new directions for treatments for addiction to the drug, they said.
In a study available online and in the Oct. 20 issue of Neuron, UT Southwestern researchers used rodents to pinpoint an important molecular mechanism that switches genes “on” in the part of the brain involved in drug-induced rewards. They also determined that cocaine, through a process called “chromatin remodeling,” alters the normal biochemical processes that allow these specific genes to be turned on and off.’