By Janice Wood
The chronic use of cocaine can lead to structural changes in the brain that make the user more susceptible to addiction. Researchers at the University of Buffalo and Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that chronic cocaine use reduces the expression of a protein known to regulate brain plasticity in mice, which drives structural changes in the brain, including creating greater sensitivity to the rewarding effects of the drug.
“We found that chronic cocaine exposure in mice led to a decrease in this protein’s signaling,” says David Dietz, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. » More