Thursday, September 26, 2013

1 Dose Cocaine and the Brain

Studies have shown that long-term use of cocaine can drastically impact decision-making and may even rewire the brain. Now a new study at UCSF Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center has reported that cocaine can cause rewiring have JUST ONE USE. Using live mice, researchers found that one dose of cocaine triggered growth of new dendritic spines that rewired the brain to seek cocaine. According to Linda Wilbrecht, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley and lead author of the study, "We have limited real estate in the brain, and this (study) shows how drugs dominate what its users think about." Because the brain can rewire, however, there is hope that recovery strategies also could help this to occur. Since it is also known that when you do almost anything once, the brain lays down the beginning of a software pattern in case you might want to do it again, which would put it ahead of the game so to speak. Put that together with this new research and “trying something just once for the experience” may be a poor choice.

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