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B. New Insight into Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers have discovered a way to block a crucial step leading to alcohol and drug addiction. Rosana Camarini, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, found nerves in the brain that are involved with learning, share a common pathway with an early stage of addiction called sensitization.

Camarini: Sensitization is an increase in the initial effect of a drug after repeated administration of a given dose of these drugs of abuse.

Narrator: The goal now is to find a molecule that can selectively block access to brain receptors linked to this stage of addiction without blocking normal learning function.

Camarini: So we have to work more on that. But it's a pathway - it's a way to find some drugs that don't have these side effects, but block some aspects of addiction that are very important. Like craving, like seizure withdrawal. So, maybe this kind of drugs can act in many of these aspects.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.