Development of a medical treatment for cocaine addiction - elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind the drug

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Claus Juul Løland


University of Copenhagen


DKK 162,000




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Cocaine is a most addictive drug and its abuse is an increasing global problem. Despite these, there is no medical treatment for cocaine addiction. The stimulating effect of cocaine comes from boosting the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. We found a drug that binds to the same target protein as cocaine and elicit a dopamine response but it does not produce any stimulant in mice. Rather it inhibits the effect of cocaine. The current project aims to understand how two drugs, with the apparent same function, can have so different effects. We will achieve this through molecular analyses of the interaction between drugs and the target protein at atomic detail. This knowledge is vital to future development of a drug for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

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