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New insights into cocaine addiction

New insights into cocaine addiction

Researchers in Belgium have uncovered the crucial role, in cocaine addiction, of one particular gene.

Using mice, a research team from EARA member the Free University of Brussels (ULB) Neuroscience Institute and the WEL Research Institute, in Wavre, found that a gene (Maged1)that has an important effect in the desire and craving response in drug addiction, exists in an area of the brain not normally associated with these emotions. 

Further studies with human cocaine addicts, by the team, led by Alban de Kerchove d’Exaerde at ULB, in collaboration with psychiatrists from Paris City University, confirmed that malfunctions in the gene led to changes in behaviour linked with addiction. 

The research was published in Nature Communications.

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