In 10 seconds? The presence or lack of a molecule in the brain can affect brain rewiring in response to cocaine, researchers have found. This suggests that addiction has biological roots and as such, medical intervention may exist.

What did they discover? They’ve found a molecule (Npas4) that can be used to regulate the increase of ‘signals’ in the brain’s reward center when it’s exposed to cocaine. By switching off Npas4, researchers have managed to reduce cocaine-related ‘hyperlocomotion’ in lab mice. (Hyperlocomotion is excessive movement, usually as a result of the overstimulation of the nervous system). Thus, they realized that they had found a way that could reduce addictive behavior.

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