Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common Heart Drug May Reduce Cocaine Cravings

Date:
February 28, 2008
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Diltiazem, a drug used in the treatment of high blood pressure, reduces cocaine cravings in a rat model. Previous work showed that two brain chemicals, dopamine and glutamate, independently contribute to the development of cocaine addiction. This new research indicates that calcium channels provide critical links between dopamine and glutamate that drives the intense craving associated with cocaine addiction.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School have found that diltiazem, a drug used in the treatment of high blood pressure, reduces cocaine cravings in a rat model.

Previous work showed that two brain chemicals, dopamine and glutamate, independently contribute to the development of cocaine addiction. This new research indicates that calcium channels provide critical links between dopamine and glutamate that drives the intense craving associated with cocaine addiction. Diltiazem, one of a class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers, disrupts the connection between dopamine and glutamate formed during chronic cocaine use.

According to the researchers, brain calcium plays an important role in learning and memory in that calcium influences an enzyme known as the "memory molecule." "Our work shows that cocaine increases the levels of this molecule specifically in a brain area that controls motivation. Thus, cocaine use teaches the brain to be addicted, resulting in a dysfunctional form of learning that drives the overwhelming desire to consume more cocaine," said senior author Chris Pierce, a professor of pharmacology and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.

Currently, there are no effective drug therapies for cocaine addiction. Pierce noted that research such as this using animal models could lead to desperately needed medications. "The strength of this work is that it tells us something fundamental about how brain chemistry changes as cocaine addiction takes hold. Importantly, our findings also suggest new strategies for developing cocaine addiction therapies, which thus far remain elusive," he added.

These findings will appear in the March issue of the leading medical journal Nature Neuroscience.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Common Heart Drug May Reduce Cocaine Cravings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080227155016.htm>.
Boston University. (2008, February 28). Common Heart Drug May Reduce Cocaine Cravings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080227155016.htm
Boston University. "Common Heart Drug May Reduce Cocaine Cravings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080227155016.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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