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Heroin Reduces The Brain’s Ability To Form Synapses

Exposure to heroin sharply reduces levels of the protein necessary for developing and maintaining the brain’s synapses, a preclinical study[1] by University at Buffalo researchers has found. The development of addiction relapse is directly related to the impact that reductions in this protein, called drebrin, have on specific cells involved in the brain’s pleasure-seeking/reward pathways. […]

6 Out Of 10 Children Prescribed Opioids After Tonsillectomy

An analysis of insurance claims data found 60% of privately insured children undergoing tonsil removal received opioids, with the average prescription lasting from six to 10 days. “Our findings suggest that it may be possible to reduce opioid exposure among children who undergo this common surgery without increasing the risk of complications,” says lead author […]

Ketamine Isn’t An Opioid And Treats Depression In A Unique Way

Ketamine has gotten a bad rap as an opioid when there’s plenty of evidence suggesting it isn’t one, Johns Hopkins experts say. They believe this reputation may hamper patients from getting necessary treatment for the kinds of depression that don’t respond to typical antidepressants. In a new paper, the researchers clarify the mechanism behind ketamine’s […]

Ketamine’s Antidepressant Effect Involves Opioid System Activation

Ketamine works as an antidepressant at least in part by activating the brain’s opioid system, new research reports. The finding overturns previously held beliefs that the drug’s antidepressant effects stemmed solely from its impact on the glutamate system. These beliefs led to the widespread use of ketamine to treat depression and spurred the development of […]