“…cocaine self-administration induces hypofunction of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway”

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Disruption of dopamine neurotransmission diminishes responding for natural reinforcers and prevents learning of associations between rewards and the discrete and contextual cues that predict their availability.  As such, drug-induced alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission are hypothesised to, at least in part, mediate the maladaptive and inelastic behaviors characteristic of drug addiction…

reductions in the functioning of this system following repeated drug administration may result in an inability to dynamically modulate behaviors in an environmentally appropriate manner, and thus may contribute to a cycle of repeated relapses in response to cue exposure in drug abusers despite negative physical,social and financial outcomes.”

“…decreased effect of cocaine ondopamine neurotransmission is due to a decreased ability of cocaineto produce uptake inhibition.”

Source – “Cocaine self-administration disrupts mesolimbic dopamine circuit function and attenuates dopaminergic responsiveness to cocaine.”

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