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Deep Brain Stimulation Offers Promising Treatment Option for Cocaine Addiction

Posted Dec 29 2009 12:00am

The Los Angeles Times’ Booster Shots blog reported recently on a French study that examined the effect of deep brain stimulation on rats suffering from cocaine addiction.

Cocaine-addicted rats treated with deep brain stimulation were about half as willing as their untreated counterparts to press a lever over and over again to get a hit of the drug. When the researchers switched the two groups and began stimulating the brains of the “control” rats, they were the ones who lost some interest in pressing the lever, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists also found that untreated rats preferred to hang out in the place where they had previously gotten cocaine but had no particular preference to the area where they received food. In contrast, the rats who got deep brain stimulation were indifferent to the area associated with cocaine and instead hung around the place where they expected to be fed.

What do you think about this promising treatment option? Read the full story on the Los Angeles Times Web site.

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