Research Paper On Cocaine

Research Paper On Cocaine-18
Methods of Use Crack cocaine, once processed from cocaine powder, appears as a yellowish-white rock.

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Smoking crack cocaine brings an intense and immediate, but very short-lived high that lasts about fifteen minutes.1 A person can become addicted after his or her first time trying crack cocaine.

History Crack cocaine was first developed during the cocaine boom of the 1970's, and its use became enormously popular in the mid-1980s, particularly in urban areas.2 Today it remains a very problematic and popular drug, as it is inexpensive to produce, and is much cheaper to purchase than powder cocaine.

The paper’s lead author is Abigail Polter, formerly of Kauer’s lab and now at George Washington University.

Additional authors are Kelsey Barcomb and Rudy Chen at Brown; Nicholas M Graziane, formerly at Brown and now at the University of Pittsburgh; and Paige Dingess and Travis Brown of the University of Wyoming.

At the heart of the study are kappa opioid receptors (κORs) on the surface of key brain cells.

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The κORs are already seen as targets for anti-addiction medication development, but to make effective therapies, researchers must pinpoint specific interactions.They also showed that merely blocking dynorphin from binding to κORs did not restore GABAergic neuron activity and would therefore not be a productive drug development strategy.In another experiment, they showed that while relapse can be prevented by blocking dynorphin release before stress occurs, blocking dynorphin release after stress occurs does no good. Given their evidence, what Kauer’s team theorizes is that stress, via dynorphin, flips a switch on κORs that turns off normal GABA signaling at the relevant synapses for days.This specific change, the results suggest, serves to disrupt GABA’s ability to hold back the dopamine neuron activity that may drive cocaine-seeking.Once the conformational change is made in the κORs, the researchers found, that relapse-promoting change stays in effect for days without any additional stress or any continued need for dynorphin.Crack cocaine is generally smoked through a glass handpipe or waterpipe.Also, there have been reports of the drug being injected intravenously or even snorted, but these methods are less common.One mechanism is the release of a protein called dynorphin that naturally activates κORs.The new study provides evidence that after brief acute stress, dynorphin triggers a long-lasting change in the conformation of the receptors, specifically on the GABA-releasing synapses that inhibit dopamine-releasing neurons in the VTA.Those neurons are curbed, however, by the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, through connections to other neurons called synapses.Neuroscientists have known that, as in people, stress induces relapse in rats.


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