A specific type of neurons might mediate cocaine addiction
Cocaine addiction linked to increased number of orexin neurons - top science news stories

In a new research study, scientists found an interesting correlation between a type of brain cells called orexin neurons and cocaine addiction. When the number of orexin neurons is higher the chance of becoming addicted or relapsing is increased.

The study involved rats that were addicted. These animals had a greater number of brain cells that produce orexins. The increase in neurons lasted for up to six months after cocaine use, which might explain why addicts often relapse.

Interestingly, when researchers restored the number of neurons to normal, cocaine-seeking rats were no longer addicted. Moreover, a previous study already showed a similar pattern in humans that were addicted to heroin.

Read the full story: Rutgers University
Scientific publication: Biological Psychiatry