Total Recall--the Memory of Addiction

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Science  22 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5525, pp. 2266-2267
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063024

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How does cocaine induce the long-lasting changes in neural circuitry that result in addictive behavior? As Nestler explains in his Perspective, the formation of memories through long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus may provide some clues. Discussing a paper from Malenka and colleagues published elsewhere, Nestler compares the increase in glutamatergic transmission accompanying LTP in the hippocampus with that induced in VTA dopamine neurons by cocaine.