Neuroscience

A new way to reduce drug seeking

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Science  26 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6242, pp. 1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6242.1441-c

A methyl donor can reduce an addict's urge for ever more cocaine

PHOTO: GBRUNDIN /ISTOCKPHOTO

Relapse is a serious problem for many individuals trying to recover from addiction. Because DNA methylation regulates neural functions associated with synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory, Wright et al. investigated its role in sensitization to cocaine and reinstatement to cocaine and associated cues. A methyl donor, l-methionine, reduced behavioral sensitization to the locomotor-activating and drug-seeking effects of chronic cocaine use. l-methionine also blocked a cocaine-induced marker of neuronal activation after reinstatement in the nucleus accumbens and the medial prefrontal cortex, two brain regions responsible for drug seeking and relapse.

J. Neurosci., 35, 8948 (2015).

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