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Department of Psychology pres.

Biopsychology Colloquium: Synaptic mechanisms maintaining persistent cocaine craving

Dr. Marina Wolf, Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Marina Wolf Dr. Marina Wolf
Dr. Marina Wolf
The major challenge in treating drug addiction is that recovering addicts remain vulnerable to drug craving and relapse even after long periods of abstinence. The goal of the Wolf lab is to understand synaptic mechanisms that maintain this persistent vulnerability to relapse.

Most of our studies use the incubation of craving model. Incubation refers to the progressive increase in cue-induced craving that develops after discontinuing drug self-administration. Craving remains at high (incubated) levels for months. Incubation of craving also occurs in humans.

Our work has focused on excitatory synapses in the nucleus accumbens, a key brain region for motivated behavior. My talk will describe published and unpublished work showing profound alterations in all of the major glutamate receptors in the NAc (AMPA, NMDA and metabotropic glutamate receptors) after incubation of cocaine craving and the role of protein translation in mediating this plasticity.
Dr. Marina Wolf Dr. Marina Wolf
Dr. Marina Wolf

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