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Methyl Supplementation and DNA Methylation: Providing More Building Blocks to Reverse Cocaine Addiction
Material below summarizes the article Methyl Supplementation Attenuates Cocaine-Seeking Behaviors and Cocaine-Induced c-Fos Activation in a DNA Methylation-Dependent Manner, published on June 10, 2015, in JNeurosci and authored by Katherine N. Wright, Fiona Hollis, Florian Duclot, Amanda M. Dossat, Caroline E. Strong, T. Chase Francis, Roger Mercer, Jian Feng, David M. Dietz, Mary Kay Lobo, Eric J. Nestler, and Mohamed Kabbaj.
Relapse is one of the signature hallmarks of cocaine addiction, as the majority of addicts experience relapse at some point on their path to recovery. Unfortunately, current treatments have been lacking, highlighting the need for better understanding of the neurobiology of addiction toward the development of more effective therapies.
Epigenetic factors, defined as changes to gene expression that do not alter the DNA sequence, have recently been identified as targets by which environmental stimuli can induce changes in cellular gene expression and activity. Studies have found that epigenetic markers are responsible for the neural adaptations that occur in response to chronic exposure to cocaine, which in turn can inform how a neuron responds to a later exposure to cocaine or environmental triggers, such as what occurs with relapse.
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