Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cocaine: some people more vulnerable then others

Brain scans have revealed a possible biological basis for cocaine addiction which may explain why some get hooked, while others can use the drug socially.
The scans show cocaine alters parts of the brain controlling behaviour and appropriate decision-making.

In effect, the drug messes with what is colloquially known as willpower - with some maybe more vulnerable than others.

Trinity College Dublin researchers will present their findings to a Royal Society meeting.

The researchers took brain scans of cocaine users while they performed computer tasks.

They found that cocaine increased activity in areas of the pre-frontal cortex.

The scans also revealed differences in brain structures of cocaine users.

It is unclear whether the differences existed before they started taking cocaine, or were a result of using the drug.

But the findings raise the possibility that differences in brain structure render some people potentially more vulnerable to the effects of the drug.

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