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Brain mechanism could explain how substance abuse is linked to mood disorders

August 26, 2011
by News release
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New NIH-funded research shows that mice exposed repeatedly to cocaine have more severe depressive-like responses to social stress; possibly offering insight into why people addicted to drugs are often also diagnosed with mood disorders, such as depression.
This relationship between repeated cocaine exposure and heightened stress reactivity appears to involve a common mechanism (histone methylation), which could provide a potential target to treat patients with the commonly co-occurring mood and substance use disorders.

The research was funded by NIMH and NIDA. Click here for a copy of the article by Covington, et al.

For more information, please contact the NIDA Press Office at 301-443-6245 or