New approach holds promise for reducing cocaine craving

New understanding of the changes in brain chemistry caused by chronic cocaine use has suggested a novel treatment that could reduce the intense craving that forms the core of cocaine addiction. “Our studies show that administration of an existing drug ? n-acetyl cysteine, which is used to treat cystic fibrosis and several other disorders ? reverses the changes in brain chemistry that appear to cause cocaine craving,” said David A. Baker, a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Peter W. Kalivas at the Medical University of South Carolina.

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