1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP

Drug addicts may be predisposed to substance abuse, Cambridge University researchers

By Balzafire, Jun 22, 2011 | |
Rating:
4/5,
  1. Balzafire
    Drug addicts may be predisposed to substance abuse because of the make-up of their brains, Cambridge scientists have discovered.

    Researchers at Cambridge University have identified abnormalities in the frontal lobe of cocaine users’ brains which are linked to their compulsive cocaine-using behaviour.

    The News reported earlier this year how the university was seeking cocaine users to take part in a brain-mapping study.

    Volunteers were offered £80 and were told they would receive a scan of their brain in return.

    Led by Dr Karen Ersche, the researchers scanned the brains of 120 people, half of whom had a dependence on cocaine.

    They found that the cocaine users had widespread loss of grey matter which was directly related to the duration of their cocaine abuse and that this reduction in volume was associated with greater compulsivity to take cocaine.

    The scientists also found that parts of the brain’s reward system where cocaine has its effect were significantly enlarged in cocaine users. This was not linked to the duration of the user’s habit.

    The researchers believe this may suggest that alterations in the brain’s reward system predate cocaine abuse, possibly rendering these people more vulnerable to the effects of the drug.

    Dr Ersche, of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the university, said: "This research gives us an important insight into why some people are more vulnerable to drug addiction.

    "Not only is this important for the future development of more effective therapeutic interventions for people who have become dependent on drugs, it will also inform improved strategies to prevent drug addiction in the first place."

    The researchers also showed that changes in other brain structures of chronic cocaine users were linked to debil¬itating attention problems.

    The team will now explore whether there is an inherited vulnerability to developing cocaine dependence.

    Dr Ersche is still looking for different types of cocaine users to take part in brain-imaging studies, particularly those who take cocaine recreationally and are at least 20 years of age, as well as people who have been using cocaine regularly for many years and are now over 50.


    Cambridge News
    21/06/2011
    http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Hom...dge-University-researchers-claim-20062011.htm

Comments

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!