Cocaine

Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Although health care providers can use it for valid medical purposes, such as local anesthesia for some surgeries, cocaine is an illegal drug.

Learning how to disrupt cocaine’s effects on the brain

Just published research by scientists at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program reveals that the drug cocaine causes neurons to synthesize endocannabinoids that are then enclosed within membrane-bound packages, known as extracellular vesicles. Designing drugs or tools to manipulate the protein interactions underlying vesicle release could provide a new way to counter cocaine addiction.
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