Nicotinic receptors may be important targets for treatment of multiple addictions

Armen Hareyan's picture
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For years, scientists have known that some people are biologically more susceptible to drug addiction than others, but they have only been able to speculate why.

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In the August 15, 2007 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the University of Chicago report on a study that may help answer this question.

They discovered that rats most likely to self-administer addictive drugs had a particular receptor in the brain that is more responsive than the same receptor in rats least likely to self-administer addictive drugs.

This receptor, known as the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), increases excitability within in the brain

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