New University of Minnesota Medical School research discovers a novel potential target for treating drug addiction through “the hidden stars of the brain.”
Dopamine is one of the major reward molecules of the brain and contributes to learning, memory and motivated behaviors. Disruption of dopamine is associated with addiction-related disorders, such as amphetamine substance use and abuse.
A new study published in Neuron suggests that targeting astrocyte calcium signaling could decrease the behavioral effects of amphetamine. The study was co-led by Michelle Corkrum, PhD, a third-year medical student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Ana Covelo, PhD, in the lab of Alfonso Araque, PhD, and in collaboration with Mark Thomas, PhD.