New findings published in Nature Neuroscience highlight the discovery of a neural pathway that has the ability to regulate changes in the brain caused by cocaine use. By manipulating these pathways and Activin receptors, researchers were able to affect both cocaine use and relapse patterns in animals. Senior author David Dietz, PhD explains that the cocaine use alters the connections between neurons, and changes in the brain are directly caused by cocaine addiction and use.
“‘Understanding this critical pathway will help us pursue new directions in potential pharmacological and gene therapies to prevent drug relapses,’ Dietz says. ‘If we can control this pathway, we may be able to help prevent relapses in people who have been abstinent from cocaine.'”
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