Cellular mechanism mediating the impairment in synaptic plasticity associated with the transition to addiction

Fernando kasanetz

Nationality Argentinian

Year of selection 2010

Institution Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2

Country France

Risk Health

Post-Doctoral Fellowship

1.5 years

Understanding the Roots of Addiction

Addiction does not happen to everyone. Focusing on the phase of transition from health to addiction, Dr. Fernando Kasanetz is investigating why some people develop a compulsive need for drug. By studying the initially disrupted inter-neuronal communication that follows cocaine intake, he showed that addiction is associated with the brain’s inability to adapt to the effects of cocaine. Kasanetz is now exploring the cellular mechanisms that may explain maladaptive neuronal plasticity in addicts.
One of the major challenges in the field of drug abuse is the understanding of the biological basis of the transition to addiction in vulnerable individuals. Identifying which of the countless drug-induced neurobiological changes are specifically associated with the behavioral manifestation of addiction has proven to be extremely challenging, but the recent development of adequate animal models will allow rapid progress. By differentiating between individuals (the vast majority) maintaining control of their drug-related behaviors from those few that lose control over drug consumption, we study the synaptic modifications specifically associated with the transition to cocaine-addiction.

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