Cocaine scrambles genes in the brain

Cocaine may alter the way genes in your brain operate

Cocaine - News - Marie Claire
Cocaine - News - Marie Claire
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Cocaine may alter the way genes in your brain operate

We all know that taking cocaine changes the way we think and behave, but the effects could go a lot deeper according to a breakthrough study.

The report, published in the January 8 issue of Science shows how the class A drug alters the very ways genes in your brain operate.

Experts are convinced that, by understanding this process, they will eventually be able to develop new treatments for millions of people around the world who suffer with cocaine problems.

The study, which was carried out on mice, is part of a new area of research that looks into how significant experiences trigger changes in brain genes, and consequently how our minds function,

‘This is a major step in understanding the development of cocaine addiction and how we can moderate the development of addiction,' says Peter Kalivas, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina, who was associated with the study.

The discovery has certainly caused excitement among the science and medical world, as new treatments are definitely needed for cocaine. In contrast, there are helpful medications for addiction to heroine, but so far none are that useful against stimulants like cocaine.

With so many still hooked on the drug, and figures constantly rising, the search for new answers is more urgent than ever.