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Scientists Probably Find a Method to Make Your Forget about Your Meth Addiction


Image credit: Crystal Meth. Kaarsten/Shutterstock

As for many addicts who have given up drug abuse sometime before, they have to fight against with their memories, which could induce them to pick up addiction some months or even several years after rehabilitation. However, there is the good news for such recovering addicts that a new revolutionary discovery would be potentially helpful in relapse prevention, for scientists have discovered an early drug candidate, which could be able to erase drug-associated memories in a selective way.

In the latest edition of journal Molecular Psychiatry,such amazing discovery has been released by scientists from the Scripps Institute. In their explanation, the reason why  recovering drug addicts could relapse is that being exposed to familiar memories linked with drug use, their abuse could be triggered. Therefore, scientists decided to go for an investigation to see whether they could disrupt these memories, but at the same time, no loss to any other memories could be caused.

Based on the previous researches, scientists were capable of confirming the vital part that the protein actin played in removing unnecessary memories. It was reported in The Washington Post that actin helped build the link between brain neurons, which was formed when one made a new memory. During such process, actin could be capable of stabilizing and securing the memory in a rapid way. But scientists were quite sure that this was not the instance for memories generated using amphetamines. Scientists discovered that actin failed to stabilize in meth-related memories, thus making that memory specifically vulnerable. Although scientists had managed to make use of this vulnerability, they should try hard to address the issue of targeting actin, because the protein is fundamentally vital throughout our whole body, therefore inhibiting actin in recovering drug addicts could lead to some dangerous consequences.

In the interview with The Washington Post, Courtney Miller, lead researcher said, that was the way in which cells divided, the heart worked and muscles contracted, So if one wanted to inhibit actin, it could possibly cause a person to death.

At present, what Miller and her colleagues are doing is to resort to another molecule named nonmuscle myosin IIB (myosin). While this molecule assists actin in creating memories, it would not have any impact on other vital biological functions. So they produced a drug named as  Blebbistatin (Blebb) and used for disruption of myosin in meth-addicted mice. To their surprise, they discovered that with just one dose of Blebb, the meth-associated memories would have been disrupted for thirty days.

As Miller said, with a viable target, thus blocking it, her research team could disrupt, and probably erase drug memories, but make other memories remain intact.

It was hoped that together with traditional rehabilitation and abstinence therapies, Miller’s team would be able to decrease  or get rid of relapse for meth users after a single treatment in which the power of an individual’s triggers would be taken away.

For the time being, scientists are making tests to see whether Blebb would work for other drugs. They will continue their study about its impact on humans so as to ensure that it would be entirely safe when taken by the human.

Source: Washington Post