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Mol Interv. 2003 Aug;3(5):248-52.

LTP may trigger addiction.

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Department of Neuroscience The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL 60064 USA.


Differing classes of abused drugs utilize different mechanisms of molecular pharmacological action yet the overuse of these same drugs frequently leads to the same outcome: addiction. Similarly, episodes of stress can lead to drug-seeking behaviors and relapse in recovering addicts. To overcome the labor-intensive headache of having to design a specific addiction-breaking intervention tailored to each drug it would be expedient to attack the cycle of addiction at targets common to such seemingly disparate classes of drugs of abuse. Recently, encouraging observations were made whereby stressful conditions and differing classes of drugs of abuse were found to impinge upon the same excitatory synapses on dopamine neurons in the midbrain. These findings will increase our understanding of the intricacies of addiction and LTP, and may lead to new interventions for breaking addiction.

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