New ways to deal with cocaine addiction have recently been making waves, due to a recent experiment done with rats. The study revealed a way to dull recent memories of cocaine, thus making it easier to weaken the bonds of addiction.
Researchers at Washington State University recently partook in a study done with rats, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, which discovered it is possible to alter the way that the brain stores its memories of cocaine use, thus making it less desirable in the long run.
The study worked by giving rats, each locked in a designated cage, cocaine on the same schedule every day. By only doing cocaine in their cage and nowhere else, the rats inevitably learned to associate their home with cocaine and the subsequent memories – much like humans do.
According to the study’s author Barbara Sorg, a professor of neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver, “when people take drugs, they end up accumulating memories of where they took the drug, the people they took the drug with, the sights, the smells, the feeling of increased heart rate or the rush. All those things are creating memories.”
In the study, the researchers removed the part of the brain called the perineuronal nets, which are located in the region of the brain associated with memory, learning, and attention. In fact, the study revealed that without the perineural nets, the rats found the cages less pleasant and lacked desire to be in them and in turn, lacked the desire to do cocaine.
These findings mean greater strides and advancements in finding a better way to help people overcome cocaine addiction.
As Sorg puts it, “if we can understand the components of these nets and how they are regulated by cocaine, or how they’ve changed by taking cocaine, then we can understand the next step which would be developing therapeutics.”
Cocaine addiction therapy can be your saving grace, your last chance for a new start.