Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential Drug Target For Treating Cocaine Abuse Found

Date:
March 11, 2005
Source:
Society For Neuroscience
Summary:
A substance similar to a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease blocks the stimulating effects of cocaine and could potentially be used to develop drug therapy for cocaine abuse, new research shows.

WASHINGTON, DC February 17, 2005 -- A substance similar to a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease blocks the stimulating effects of cocaine and could potentially be used to develop drug therapy for cocaine abuse, new research shows.

In an article published in the February 23, 2005, issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, Jonathan Katz and his colleagues at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report the results of experiments showing that mice treated with a substance similar to the drug benztropine did not show any of the typical hyperactive behavior when later injected with cocaine. This effect wore off after a day.

Cocaine produces intense feelings of euphoria by increasing the amount of dopamine that is sent from one neuron to another within the brain reward system. Dopamine signals pleasure and reward by binding to receptors on the receiving neurons, after which it is reabsorbed for later use by a protein that transports it back into the sending neuron. But cocaine blocks the mechanism that transports dopamine, causing it to build up and send an unceasing message of pleasure – the cocaine high.

Researchers have long searched for "a molecule that would block cocaine's effects on the transporter without inhibiting the transporter by itself," notes Eric Nestler, chair of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"This article reports early studies with just such a compound." Although the results are preliminary, this breakthrough shows that it may be possible to develop drugs that block cocaine's stimulating effects, and perhaps its power to addict, Nestler says.

Researchers previously thought that different chemicals that prevent the reabsorption of dopamine would all have the same stimulating effect on the brain. The new study shows this may not be true. "In fact, the interaction between dopamine trans-porters and the substances that bind to them may depend on the chemical structure of those substances," says NIDA's Amy Newman, who synthesized the compound. The researchers found that their novel drug made contact with transporters slowly – about 10 times slower than cocaine – which, they speculate, may be why it does not have a stimulating effect.

Between 2 million and 3.2 million people in the United States – about 1 percent of the population - use cocaine, according to estimates. Of this number, more than 550,000 are crack users. In 2002, 1.5 million Americans were thought to be dependent on or abusing cocaine. "Cocaine is capable of destroying not only the lives of those addicted, but also the lives of those around them," says Katz. "An effective treatment for cocaine addiction would be of immeasurable help to these individuals and their families."

###

The Journal of Neuroscience is owned and published by the Society for Neuroscience, an organization of more than 36,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. Katz's colleagues include Amy Newman, Rajeev Desai, Theresa Kopajtic, and Mikhail Koffarnus. Katz can be reached via the NIDA press office at 301-443-6245.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society For Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society For Neuroscience. "Potential Drug Target For Treating Cocaine Abuse Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224111705.htm>.
Society For Neuroscience. (2005, March 11). Potential Drug Target For Treating Cocaine Abuse Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224111705.htm
Society For Neuroscience. "Potential Drug Target For Treating Cocaine Abuse Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224111705.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins