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Activating Brain Receptor May Reduce Cocaine’s Appeal, Study in Mice Finds

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Activating a specific brain receptor may reduce the appeal of cocaine, a new study in mice suggests.

In the study, researchers studied two groups of mice. One group was normal; the other group did not have a brain receptor called CB2, which is affected by marijuana. Both groups of mice were trained to give themselves cocaine. The mice were then given a compound, JWH133, which turns off a receptor in the brain called CB2, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The normal mice gave themselves less cocaine. The more JWH133 they received, the less cocaine they took. In the mice without the CB2 receptor, JWH133 did not affect cocaine use.

In the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology say JWH133 or a similar compound might be used to help humans addicted to cocaine and other drugs.

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