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Injections Of Licorice Ingredient Show Promise As Treatment For Cocaine Addiction

Date:
February 20, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
An ingredient in licorice shows promise as an antidote for the toxic effects of cocaine abuse, including deadly overdoses of the highly addictive drug, researchers are reporting. 

An ingredient in licorice shows promise as an antidote for the toxic effects of cocaine abuse.
Credit: American Chemical Society

An ingredient in licorice shows promise as an antidote for the toxic effects of cocaine abuse, including deadly overdoses of the highly addictive drug, researchers in Korea and Pennsylvania are reporting. 

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In the new study, Meeyul Hwang, Chae Ha Yang, and colleagues note that there is currently no effective medicine for treating cocaine abuse or addiction. Recent animal studies conducted by the researchers show that a licorice ingredient called isoliquiritigenin (ISL) can block the nervous system’s production of dopamine. That neurotransmitter is involved in emotion, movement, and other brain activities.

Cocaine and other addictive drugs stimulate dopamine and help produce the pleasurable and addictive effects. Drugs that block dopamine block this response. The scientists used rats as model animals to show that rats injected with ISL just prior to cocaine-administration showed 50 percent less of the behavioral effects associated with the illicit drug.

They also showed that ISL injections protected nerve cells in the brain from cocaine-associated damage.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeon et al. Proteomic and Behavioral Analysis of Response to Isoliquiritigenin in Brains of Acute Cocaine Treated Rats. Journal of Proteome Research, 2008; 7 (12): 5094 DOI: 10.1021/pr800237s

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Injections Of Licorice Ingredient Show Promise As Treatment For Cocaine Addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218223504.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, February 20). Injections Of Licorice Ingredient Show Promise As Treatment For Cocaine Addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218223504.htm
American Chemical Society. "Injections Of Licorice Ingredient Show Promise As Treatment For Cocaine Addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218223504.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

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