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Scientists Found Way To Suppress Cocaine Addiction Among Mice

Update Date: Feb 15, 2017 09:04 AM EST
Rats And Mice In A Medical School Laboratory
A worker feeds white rats at an animal laboratory of a medical school on February 16, 2008 in Chongqing Municipality, China. (Photo : China Photos/Getty Images)

Scientists paved way for another medical breakthrough as they were able to contain cocaine addiction among mice. The researchers conducted the test multiple times as their findings left them in disbelief after the subjects' craving for cocaine were contained.

The study which was published in Nature Neuroscience mentioned that the researchers repeatedly gave mice cocaine, wherein they were already addicted to the drug. It was then mentioned that the mice's system was then altered to produce high levels of cadherin, which is known as the brain's reward system.

NPR mentioned that cadherin production was increased as they are focused on studying the susceptibility of the mice to addiction. People with high levels of cadherin are more likely to become addicted as their brain's reward system are easily triggered.

Shernaz Bamji, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver stated that the mice that were given ample amount of cadherin lacked enthusiasm and craving towards the drug, which turned out to be the opposite of what they expected.

The researchers implied that increasing the levels of cadherin would also amp the cocaine craving, but instead of doing so, it suppressed the mice's craving and interest with cocaine.

"We thought, hey, more glue, stronger synapses, more learning, more addiction," Bamji says. "But what we actually saw was the opposite. Addiction is not just bad judgment, but really is more to do with our biology and our biochemistry."

Addiction does not solely rely on substance abuse as Hazelden pointed out that addiction can be tagged as a brain disease that cannot be stopped easily. It is tagged as "a brain disease with biological underpinnings" that is heightened by several factors.

The drug triggers addiction, which can eventually evolve into a brain disease as the symptoms strengthen. What was once a feel-good trip would turn into a body's need that can result to several factors that can potentially cause havoc into the person's system, primarily on the brain.

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