Scientists participating in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have found that stimulating a key part of the brain can reduce cocaine seeking behavior in rats. Based on defecits in the prefrontal cortex found in brain imaging studies in humans who suffer from addiction, the scientists surmised that stimulating this part of the brain could produce an effect.
“This is the first study to show a cause-and-effect relationship between cocaine-induced brain deficits in the prefrontal cortex and compulsive cocaine-seeking,” said NIDA’s Dr. Billy Chen, first author of the study. “These results provide evidence for a cocaine-induced deficit within a brain region that is involved in disorders characterized by poor impulse control, including addiction.”
While the study is focused on cocaine addiction, the implications for all types of addiction, including marijuana addiction, are obvious.