Is Drug Addiction Affecting Neurotransmitters in the Body?

Drug Rehab Charlotte: Is Drug Addiction Affecting Neurotransmitters?

According to Michelle Sahai, postdoctoral associate at the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, “When cocaine enters the bloodstream, it does not allow dopamine to bind to its transporter, which results in a rapid increase in dopamine levels. The competitive binding and subsequent excess dopamine is what causes euphoria, increased energy, and alertness. It also contributes to drug abuse and addiction.”

In our last post, our drug rehab in Charlotte began discussing a possibility that has arisen in recent years. Drug use may be affecting neurotransmitters in our body, causing us to become more likely to be addicted to amphetamines.

The human dopamine transporter structure is very complex. Examples used to examine the effects of drug abuse and neurological disorders are constructed on similar crystal structures from the bacterial transporter, LeuT (grey.)

As we mentioned in our last post, researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University are trying to further understand drug abuse and how it can affect our neurotransmitters.

Using supercomputer resources, the researcher is able to observe the binding of dopamine and various drugs to a 3D model of the dopamine transporter on a molecular level. According to Sahai, the work requires very long simulations in terms of microseconds and seconds to understand how drugs interact with the transporters.

To perform these simulations, doctors are using a supercomputer that is said to be the 7th fastest in the world. The computer is located at a computing center in Texas, TACC.

"XSEDE-allocated resources are fundamental to helping us understand of how drugs work. There's no way we could perform these simulations on the machines we have in- house. Through TACC as an XSEDE service provider, we can also expect an exponential increase in computational results, and good customer service and feedback" Sahai said.

It is thought that if these doctors can find out how drugs bind to our dopamine transporter, they can ultimately get a clear understanding of what it takes, therapeutically, to beat addiction.

As research continues, we will strive to report back with any findings along the way, from the researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.

In the meantime, feel free to contact Legacy Freedom, drug rehab in Charlotte, if you or someone you love is suffering from a drug addiction they can’t beat alone. We are here to help. We offer extensive therapies for individuals, both one-on-one and in a group setting. Call Legacy Freedom today to get started finding the path to recovery.

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