Published on 24/04/2020 5:57 | Source: ANI

New study reveals potential therapeutic target for treating cocaine addiction

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New Delhi,: A new study explained how cocaine modifies functions in the brain revealing a potential target for therapies aimed at treating cocaine addiction. Researchers have demonstrated that a key receptor for dopamine, called D2 (D2R), intervenes in a mechanism through which cocaine modifies function in striatum, a region of the brain responsible for psychomotor and rewarding effects of drugs like cocaine, directly involved in the process of addiction. Study indicates that D2R activation significantly affects the motor and cellular responses to cocaine. Cocaine is a psychomotor stimulant that when ingested stimulates the central nervous system increasing motor activity and producing euphoria, excitement, and a feeling of reward. Understanding how psychomotor stimulants modify striatal functions is critical to fighting addiction to this drug. According to the American Addiction Centers, nearly a million American adults (over age 12) struggled with a cocaine use disorder in 2017. The Foundation for a Drug Free World, states cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs known to man. Once a person begins taking the drug, it has proven almost impossible to become free of its grip physically and mentally. Physically it stimulates key receptors (at nerve endings that sense changes in the body) within the brain that, in turn, creates a sense of well-being to which users quickly develop a tolerance. Only higher dosages and more frequent use can bring about the same effe