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Can increased dopamine levels help treat cocaine addiction?

March 15, 2011
by News release
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A study by NIDA-funded researchers from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons has offered an interesting theory on why some patients respond better to behavioral treatments for cocaine addiction than others.
Using brain imaging, this study, published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, demonstrated that participants who failed to respond to behavioral treatment for cocaine addiction had deficits in dopamine signaling in their brain reward centers—an observation that is consistent with previous animal studies and that may help explain increased and persistent cocaine seeking behaviors.

These results suggest that combining pharmacological treatments to increase brain dopamine levels along with behavioral treatment might offer a more effective approach than behavioral treatments alone.

The article by Martinez, et al., is also
available online.