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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 Jun;8(6):500-15. doi: 10.1038/nrd2828.

Development of pharmacotherapies for drug addiction: a Rosetta stone approach.

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Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, SP30-2400 La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Current pharmacotherapies for addiction represent opportunities for facilitating treatment and are forming a foundation for evaluating new medications. Furthermore, validated animal models of addiction and a surge in understanding of neurocircuitry and neuropharmacological mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of addiction - such as the neuroadaptive changes that account for the transition to dependence and the vulnerability to relapse - have provided numerous potential therapeutic targets. Here, we emphasize a 'Rosetta Stone approach', whereby existing pharmacotherapies for addiction are used to validate and improve animal and human laboratory models to identify viable new treatment candidates. This approach will promote translational research and provide a heuristic framework for developing efficient and effective pharmacotherapies for addiction.

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