Drug Abstinence Changes Gene Expression, Making Relapse More Likely

Technology Networks | October 10, 2019

A new preclinical study by University at Buffalo researchers reveals the genetic basis of relapse, one of the most detrimental but poorly understood behaviors related to addiction. Craig Werner, PhD, is first author on a paper published in Science Advances that demonstrates how prolonged abstinence after cocaine use drives gene changes that promote relapse. Werner did the work as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB; he is now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health. “The fact that addiction is a lifelong disease suggests that something in the brain is maintaining that vulnerability to relapse, but until now, we didn’t see how gene expression changed during abstinence to contribute to this behavior,” said Werner. The UB study begins to explain why abstinence, both in humans and in preclinical rodent relapse models, intensifies the craving for cocaine over time, facilitated by drug-associated cues. Those cues can be anything that is associated with the rewarding properties of the drug, whether it’s a physical location, fellow addicts or drug paraphernalia.

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Blood Cancer is the abnormal or uncontrolled growth of blood cells. The most commonly diagnosed blood cancers are non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and multiple myeloma.

Spotlight

Blood Cancer is the abnormal or uncontrolled growth of blood cells. The most commonly diagnosed blood cancers are non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and multiple myeloma.

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DIAGNOSTICS

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