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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation may Treat Cocaine Addiction

  1. Aug 30, 2017 #1


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    This Science news article describes efforts to treat cocaine addiction by activating or inhibiting specific brain circuits with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

    TMS works by producing magnetic fields close to the scalp which in turn induce currents in different brain areas.
    This can result in activating or deactivating circuits depending on the pattern and location of the stimulation.

    More extensive clinical trials are being organized.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2017 #2
    Thanks for the thread! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post? The more details the better.
  4. Sep 8, 2017 #3

    Fervent Freyja

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    Wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective to implant devices in the nose that prevent the cocaine from entering or rendering it ineffective?
  5. Sep 10, 2017 #4
    I'm not sure if your joking but, in a way there are already some potential methods to render the cocaine molecule "ineffective". The most interesting, in my opionion, is training the body's immune system to recognize the cocaine molecule as an antigen thereby rendering the cocaine inneffective through the deployment of cocaine specific antibodies.

    The reason TMS is a better option, barring the obvious potential risks of messing with the immune system perminantly, is that it treats the symptoms of addiction from the top down. What I mean by that is that addiction is a result of a very complex system going "awry". Treating it by simply blocking the ingestion of the substance won't do the job, at least not entirely.

    Lets use your example of permanent nose plugs... Cocaine is a molecule that can be ingested in a number of ways. The molecule might need to be altered somewhat [freebasing] or simply placed in a solution [IV] and have the same effect although not necessarily dose dependent. What is important to the addict is not necessarily snorting cocaine, it is the effect the cocaine has on the brain. In fact, cocaine isn't really necessary at all. A similar molecule or one which acts "similarly" on dopamine receptors could have satisfactory effects.

    Thus treating the higher order processes in the brain that deal with addiction as a whole has intrinsic benefits. Also its non intrusive which is a huge plus. Hope this was helpful
  6. Sep 14, 2017 #5


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    Methadone comes to mind.
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