NIDA Study Reveals Widespread Effects of Cocaine on Genome Structure and Function

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Repeated use of addictive drugs such as cocaine causes long-lasting changes in parts of the brain involved in motivation and reward, among others, yet the precise mechanisms by which these changes are maintained are poorly understood. A new study by scientists supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), published May 14, 2009 in the journal Neuron, sheds light on this process by providing fundamental new insights into the effects of cocaine on the structure and function of the genome, the complete set of DNA instructions needed to make an organism. Scientists see vast clinical potential of these newly identified gene targets.  

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