Friday, August 24, 2012

New Strategy For Treating Cocaine Addiction?


A two-drug cocktail suppresses impulsive behavior and the drive to seek out cocaine, according to a new study in rats...Combined with behavioral therapy, the drugs may lead to an effective treatment for cocaine addiction in people, the researchers say...In [a] cue reactivity test, the scientists trained rats to self-administer cocaine by pressing a lever. When a rat pressed the lever, a light would come on and the animal would receive a small hit of cocaine through a tube inserted into its vein. As a result, the rat learned to associate the light and the sound of the pump that infused the drug with the cocaine high. After this initial training, the researchers weaned the rats off the drug by making it so that the lever didn’t turn the light on or trigger a cocaine injection. Once the rats stopped compulsively hitting the cocaine lever, the researchers then turned on the light and the pump to see if the cues would trigger the rodents to go back to the lever. In response to the cocaine cues, animals treated with both drugs hit the lever about 40% less than those treated with either drug alone, suggesting that the drug combo reduced cue reactivity. more

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