"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cocaine and Glutamate 

New research suggests that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a common (and over-the-counter) cystic fibrosis treatment, may be an effective treatment for cocaine withdrawal. Cocaine interferes with glutamate antiporters, reducing the amount of extracellular glutamate in the brain, which seems to be at the root of withdrawal symptoms. NAC raises these levels, and prevents symptoms.

The release does not note that the antiporter blockage must also alter (raise, I presume) intracellular glutamate levels - which must have some effect. I wonder what?

Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the brain, and is implicated not only in drug addiction and withdrawal, but also in alcoholism, schizophrenia, and depression. These findings could have major implications on all of those conditions.

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