Erasing drug memories could help reduce drug addiction
Deleting cocaine use memory to decrease drug seeking - interesting science news

Drug addiction is very much a memory condition since as soon as the person is exposed to cues associated with the drug, the brain fires the same neurons associated with drug-seeking behavior.

In the present experiment, the rats learned to associate some audiovisual cues with cocaine and exhibited behavior similar to craving, ie. pressing the lever for cocaine repeatedly. Then they used electrical recording from the brain tissue and found that brain medial geniculate nucleus which is associated with sounds and amygdala which is important in memory were highly connected.

Then they erased the cocaine cue memories using a technique called optogenetics which uses light to inhibit certain specific neurons. On doing this the rats significantly reduced the learn-pressing behavior, thus showing that if we disrupt these memories which are linked to these cues, it significantly reduces drug-seeking behavior.

Read the full story: University of Pittsburgh (via ScienceDaily)
Scientific publication: Cell Reports

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