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Monday, June 28, 2010

Incapacity of Addicted Individuals to Counteract Pathological Modifications Caused by the Drug to All the Users


Every year people try drugs for the first time. People experience different feelings when they are on drugs and some people end up liking drugs more than is good for them - not that drugs are ever a good thing in any shape or form. Why some people can put down drugs and others cannot has puzzled doctors and scientists for a long time. Even those who become dependent on drugs a lot of the time after a proper detox have the ability to never touch drugs again; sadly, there is another group who are incapable of putting down drugs without long term residential treatment.

The teams of Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Olivier Manzoni, at the Neurocentre Magendie in Bordeaux (Inserm unit 862) have been tackling this subject and seem to be making some headway. Medical News Today reported that the scientists recently discovered that the "transition to addiction could result from a persistent impairment of synaptic plasticity in a key structure of the brain". This is the first time the correlation has been claimed to exist between synaptic plasticity and the transition to addiction. "The results from the teams at Neurocentre Magendie call into question the hitherto held idea that addiction results from pathological cerebral modifications which develop gradually with drug usage. Their results show that addiction may, instead, come from a form of anaplasticity, i.e. from incapacity of addicted individuals to counteract the pathological modifications caused by the drug to all users".

Drugs have a severe impact on the human brain regardless of whether or not addiction develops; repeated drug use will change the physiology of the brain. The question that the scientists are trying answer is which modification to the physiology of the brain causes addiction? The goal, at the end of the day is to be able to provide more effective treatment by understanding the brain chemistry of drug addiction. Treatment facilities look to this type of research to better understand and improve their treatment models to promote successful recovery.

This research is published in the journal Science on 25 June 2010.

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