Newly Discovered Brain Pathway Sheds Light on Addiction

Drugs like morphine and cocaine fundamentally warp the brain’s reward system—creating the urge to use while, simultaneously, throwing natural urges to eat and drink off-kilter. Now, scientists from The Rockefeller University and Mount Sinai have identified, for the first time, a common reward pathway that may serve as a hub for rearranging such fundamental priorities. The findings, published in Science, shed light on neural processing of diverse classes of rewards in mice, with potential implications for understanding substance use disorders in humans. The April 19 article is titled “Drugs of Abuse Hijack a Mesolimbic Pathway That Processes Homeostatic Need.”
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