Have scientist found a better way to combat drug addition?
he Bath team wanted to test the effect of using a blocker for a brain neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is involved in memory processes. They tested the effect of a blocker of a specific receptor for acetylcholine -- the alpha7 nicotinic receptor -- to see if this might impair relapse. This drug, methyllycaconitine (MLA), that comes from Delphinium plants, selectively blocked morphine relapse (but not the initial learning to seek drugs), in both mice and rats.
This exciting novel observation led the researchers to investigate the brain region responsible for MLA's effect and identified the ventral hippocampus as the locus. The hippocampus is well known for its role in memory, and the ventral domain is particularly associated with emotional memories, an obvious link to
99 day(s) ago