PET study offers additional clues on drug addiction

04/27/2010 | EurekAlert!

Researchers using PET combined with radioactive tracers that attach to dopamine receptors found that people addicted to drugs have 15% to 20% fewer dopamine receptors, the chemical that controls the brain's reward system, than normal people. The finding "reinforces the idea that drug addicts experience diminished feelings of pleasure, which drives their continual drug use," a researcher said. The PET technique used can help in the development of effective treatment plans.

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