Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory provide further evidence that a drug known as D-cycloserine could play a role in helping to extinguish the craving behaviors associated with drug addiction. Their study found that mice treated with D-cycloserine were less likely to spend time in an environment where they had previously been trained to expect cocaine than mice treated with a placebo.
"Since the association between drugs and the places where they are used can trigger craving and/or relapse in humans, a medication that could aid in the reduction or even extinction of such responses could be a powerful tool in the treatment of addiction," said Carlos Bermeo, a Stony Brook University graduate student working under the direction of Brookhaven Lab neuroscientist Panayotis (Peter) Thanos. . . .
"This paradigm would be analogous to a clinical approach where the addict is returned to the environment that previously was the place of drug use (e.g., the neighborhood or home), but this time with no drug available," said Thanos. "Reduced seeking of the drug in the same environment - that is extinction behavior - is a great indicator of future success in treatment and reduced chance of relapse," he added.