A gene required for addictive behavior

Researchers show that mice lacking the Maged1 gene are unable to acquire cocaine addiction

Cocaine can have a devastating effect on people. It directly stimulates the brain’s reward center, and, more importantly, induces long-term changes to the reward circuitry that are responsible for addictive behaviors. Alban de Kerchove d’Exaerde from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and his colleagues have now uncovered that a gene called Maged1 plays a crucial role in controlling these pathological changes. This finding, published today in EMBO Reports, opens the door to further investigations into the molecular mechanisms underlying addiction-associated adaptations in the brain. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)