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NIDA Notes Articles: Cocaine

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Nonmedical Treatment for Cocaine Addiction Shows Promise in Pilot Trial

November 2016

Patients who received transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) were more likely to abstain from cocaine than patients who received medications for symptoms associated with abstinence. Researchers concluded that TMS appears to be safe and its efficacy as a treatment for cocaine addiction deserves to be evaluated in a larger clinical trial.

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Why Do People Lose Control Over Their Cocaine Use?

September 2016

Researchers monitored the activity of two types of neurons in mice: “urge” neurons, which promote feelings of reward and repeating behaviors that have produced rewards, and “control” neurons, which dampen those feelings and inhibit behavior.

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Slow-Release Amphetamine Medication Benefits Patients With Comorbid Cocaine Addiction and ADHD

August 2016

Treatment with an extended-release stimulant medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy was associated with reductions in cocaine use and in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in patients with both disorders.

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Narrative of Discovery: Can Magnets Treat Cocaine Addiction? Part 2

July 2016

During investigations into using transcranial brain stimulation (TMS) to treat cocaine abuse, two projects take diverging paths. One researcher moves to the next stage, while another is forced to cut his trial short. 

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Testing a Prospective Medication To Help People Avoid Relapse

March 2016

This NIDA Notes animation depicts a basic experiment that researchers use to test whether a prospective new medication can prevent relapse to drug addiction.

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Protein Diminishes Cocaine Reward and Cocaine-Related Learning in Animals

February 2016

The protein acid-sensing ion channel 1A (ASIC1A) is naturally present in the brain and reduces laboratory animals' attraction to environments in which they have experienced cocaine's effects.

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Gene Transfer Therapy for Cocaine Addiction Passes Tests in Animals

January 2016

Giving mice a modified version of a naturally occurring gene blocks cocaine’s stimulant effects without affecting the animals’ physiological or metabolic health. The new evidence advances the proposed therapy a step closer to readiness for testing in people.

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Digital Addiction Therapies Affirm Promise in Replication and Large Trial

November 2015

Two computerized programs improved outcomes when they were used to supplement or partially replace in-person behavioral therapy for drug addiction in recent NIDA-sponsored trials.

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Narrative of Discovery: Can Magnets Treat Cocaine Addiction?

September 2015

Two researchers share their reasons for researching transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for treating cocaine addiction, and describe challenges to moving forward this potentially promising therapy.

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Why Take a Drug That No Longer Gives Pleasure?

September 2015

In mice, a cocaine-induced imbalance in the activity of two key populations of neurons in the reward system persists for a longer period after repeated exposure to the drug. For long-term users, this change could both weaken the cocaine “high” and strengthen the compulsion to seek the drug.

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