Published in the online journal Nature, researchers out of the Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University have discovered how cocaine and amphetamines work to disrupt normal brain function. In the first proven research of its kind, the discovery highlights how these drugs interfere with the dopamine transporter, which serves as a pump between neurons’ synapses. Because  both cocaine and amphetamines interfere with this transporter, they block dopamine signaling in the brain. There is hope that this major advancement will hope to improve treatment options, as there are currently no approved drug therapy options for amphetamine abuse.

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