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> Drug addicts born not made, say scientists, Decreased dopamine receptors at birth leading to inc risk of addiction
Orbz
post Mar 04, 2007, 03:51 AM
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http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/03/...2868811095.html

SOME people's brains are predisposed to becoming dependent on mind-altering substances, a study has found.

As well as helping scientists understand and treat addiction, the findings could lead to a simple blood test to identify whether a child has a propensity to become hooked.

Researchers agree that drug addiction and excessive sensation seeking, or impulsiveness, are linked but it has been unclear which comes first — impulsiveness or addiction.

Are the half a million people addicted to class A drugs in England and Wales predisposed to addiction because they are sensation seekers, or does chronic drug use cause the chemical changes in the brain that made them addicts?

Scientists at the University of Cambridge report that some individuals are indeed predisposed to drug addiction by the way their brains are wired. They seem to lack the docking points — receptors — for dopamine, a signalling molecule that plays a major part in what neuroscientists call the "reward pathway" to cause the craving experienced by many smokers and addicts.

The findings, published in Science, may lead to more targeted treatments for addiction and other compulsive behaviour disorders with fewer side effects than current options.

Research in humans shows that addicts have changes in their brain chemistry.

To find out if the changes are related to the drugs or trigger dependence, Dr Jeff Dalley and colleagues at the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute studied spontaneously impulsive rats with a type of brain scanner.

The team found the rodents had fewer dopamine receptors of a given type in the brain. When both receptor-poor and normal rats were offered cocaine, the impulsive rodents were more likely to use the drug.

The conclusion of the study, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, is that the decrease in dopamine receptors renders an individual vulnerable to addiction and is not a consequence of chronic drug exposure.

These findings, made with colleagues in France and Spain, may have important ramifications for a range of addictive substances, including nicotine and opiates, where high consumption rates have also been linked to a similar reduction in this particular kind of brain receptor.

There is also evidence in people linking this brain receptor to certain personality traits — notably apathy, extraversion, impulsiveness — and earlier work has linked another dopamine related gene, Dat1, to attention deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD).

"Much more needs to be done," Dr Dalley said. "The real point of this study is that it shows that this particular receptor is diminished in number prior to taking to cocaine.

"This is important because much previous evidence in human cocaine addicts has likewise found reductions but it was impossible to know whether these changes pre-date cocaine use or emerge as a consequence of such use. The next step is identifying the gene or genes that cause this diminished supply of brain receptors.

"This may provide important new leads in the search for improved therapies for compulsive brain disorders such as ADHD, drug addiction and pathological gambling."

Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, said: "This remarkable research brings us close to answering a crucial question — whether the tendency to addiction is at least partly genetically determined.

"There have been hints of this from previous research but now, for the first time, we have evidence of a clear linkage between an inherited brain chemistry in rats and their tendency to become addicted."

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lucid_dream
post Mar 04, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Interesting. One way to increase the number of dopamine receptors is through nicotine use.
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Tone
post Mar 05, 2007, 12:50 PM
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To the researchers,



Now, will people ignore this one too? Maybe we might need about 10,000 more studies before its not ignored.
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Flex
post Mar 05, 2007, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE(Tone @ Mar 05, 2007, 12:50 PM) *

To the researchers,



Now, will people ignore this one too? Maybe we might need about 10,000 more studies before its not ignored.


HAHAHAHA thank you for this post--you made my day smile.gif
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Kclo4x
post Dec 09, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Wait, does this give an insight as to why some people like sports, and others like learning concepts? After all, both do have to do with the reward system, which dopamine and such as mentioned above are tied in with smile.gif
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maximus242
post Dec 10, 2007, 12:22 AM
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Heres some food for thought, if you never try drugs you cant be addicted to them. If you dont start smoking - you cant get addicted to smoking.

Regardless of the biological variation in individuals brains which can lead to an increased risk of addiction - you still have to actually try the substance to become addicted to it.

So real prevention can occurs by not even starting down that road. People are not born addicted to things, so regardless of biology, its still the individual who decides to use addictive substances or not.
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cybergenesis
post Dec 15, 2013, 08:38 AM
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Partly yes. But likely significant instability and early life trauma causes brain changes that worsen or create the effect.

Trauma in childhood can alter pre-frontal cortex functioning, resulting in emotional instability and impulsive behavior, and other effects.

Edit: If you want info read through all the 5-HT1-7 receptor information on Wikipedia, its a great source for this. Its been well demonstrated that childhood trauma increases various serotonin receptor density in pre-frontal cortex, and they can stop various chemicals such as dopamine and noradrenaline, inactivating circuits there.

ADHD strongly correlates with drug addiction but 1/4 to 1/3rd of cases (approx) are NOT genetic, brain trauma etc.

Want to meat a mega drug users? Both ADHD + Borderline Personality Disorder, and both severe smile.gif Yes I know people in this category and study them like lab rats, have dissected their brains actually (no lol that was a joke obviously, please do not call the feds) smile.gif

I call the above condition "BAD HD"
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