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Researchers identify possible target for cocaine medication

December 26, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The effects of a mutation in the CYFIP2 gene could offer direction for research into a possible medication treatment for cocaine addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests.

The publication Science on Dec. 23 reported on the results of federally funded research into the cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein 2, which plays a significant role in processes related to memory, learning and habit formation. Researchers led by Vivek Kumar, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, stated in the abstract of their study paper, “We propose that CYFIP2 is a key regulator of cocaine response in mammals and present a framework to use mouse substrains to identify previously unknown genes and alleles regulating behavior.”

The NIDA-financed research found that a specific mutation in this gene appears to reduce cocaine response dramatically in mice. The search for a medication that could treat stimulant dependence in humans has continued to be one of the most painstaking research tasks in the addiction field.