Cocaine could help map the brain


COCAINE may have a new use: it might help to map brain regions involved in feelings of reward. Cocaine binds to a receptor in the brain called DAT. This prevents the reward chemical dopamine binding to DAT, so it builds up, giving users a high. This binding also makes cocaine ideal for mapping the brain’s reward system, say Greg Naumiec and Brenton DeBoef at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. They are fusing cocaine molecules with gadolinium, which is magnetic and highly visible in MRI scans. If injected,
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