Thursday, 5 February 2015

Cocaine addiction treatment: new study targets immune system response in beating drug dependency

An international team led by Australian and US universities has studied a new treatment for cocaine addiction that could also have implications for all types of drug addictions. Australians rank fourth in the world when it comes to cocaine abuse.

Lead author Dr Alexis Northcutt from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Adelaide's Professor Mark Hutchinson had initially been researching neuropathic and chronic pain.
They discovered the immune receptor known as toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) amplified the addictive properties of morphine.

"Our previous studies have shown that TLR4 is responsible for amplifying addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, but this is the first time we've discovered it has a key role to play in cocaine addiction," Professor Hutchinson said.

See more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-04/cocaine-addiction-treatment/6069544

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