From Neuroscience News: For More Info, Go Here…
Exposure to heroin sharply reduces levels of the protein necessary for developing and maintaining the brain’s synapses, a preclinical study by University at Buffalo researchers has found. The development of addiction relapse is directly related to the impact that reductions in this protein, called drebrin, have on specific cells involved in the brain’s pleasure-seeking/reward pathways.
“These findings lead us to a better understanding of the neurobiology of relapse to opiates. In combination with other findings, the research will hopefully provide avenues toward treatments that can prevent relapse behaviors.”
Most currently available treatments are replacement therapies, none of which address the fundamental changes that occur in addiction and lead to relapse, which remains an intractable issue.
“Opiates fundamentally change how the brain communicates with itself,” Dietz said.
“Restoring drebrin back to normal levels in these specific brain cells was sufficient to reduce relapse behaviors,” said Dietz.