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Zapping Cocaine Addiction

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Zapping Cocaine Addiction

Powerful magnetic pulses that modify brain activity may loosen the drug’s grip.


5 min read
8 take-aways
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What's inside?

Noninvasive, magnetic pulses delivered to the brain may one day unlock the grasp of cocaine addiction.

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  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging


With gut-wrenching tales about long-term cocaine addicts, Science magazine journalist Meredith Wadman explains how noninvasive, repetitive magnetic stimulation to the brain may change addiction treatment. Now clinical trials will determine the safety and efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in people who have been unable to kick their cocaine habit. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone who is a cocaine addict, knows someone who is, or wants to understand how rTMS treats cocaine addiction.


What hope could transcranial magnetic stimulation offer to cocaine addicts?

By experimenting on rats with cocaine addiction, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) neuroscientists found that stimulating a region of the brain that is involved in the control of impulses made rats forget about their cocaine addiction. They hypothesized that stimulating the corresponding area in human brains might help cocaine addicts kick their habit, one that currently has no United States Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment. Repetitive ...

About the Author

Science writer Meredith Wadman specializes in neuroscience. She received her medical degree from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and her master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School.

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