Key brain area plays a crucial role in addiction

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New research finds that the cerebellum, a large part of the human brain that scientists thought was primarily involved in motor control, may play a key role in reward-seeking and social behaviors. The findings may help inform future therapies for treating addiction.

New research suggests the brain’s cerebellum may explain addiction.

Recent research has hinted at the fact that, in addition to movement, the brain’s cerebellum may also help to control cognitive functions, such as language, learning, and attention.

Now, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, suggest that this area could also regulate reward-processing and addiction.

Kamran Khodakhah, Ph.D., who is a professor and chair of the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein, led the new study. The scientists conducted the study in mice.

Prof. Khodakhah and his team published their results in the journal Science. Ilaria Carta, a doctoral researcher at Einstein, and Christopher Chen, Ph.D., are both first authors of the paper.


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