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Electrical Brain Stimulation Shows Promise for Cocaine Treatment, Researchers Say

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Using electrical charges to stimulate the subthalmic nucleus region of the brain may mitigate cocaine addiction without disrupting the dopamine system like current anti-addiction medications, according to French researchers.

The Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 28 that researchers reported that deep brain stimulation performed on cocaine-addicted lab rats resulted in the rats exhibiting less self-administration of the drug than an untreated control group.

Researchers also found that the treated rats seemed to break the association with an area where cocaine had been distributed, preferring to instead linger in an area where food was provided.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PDF).

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