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Lack Of Sleep Could Make Cocaine More Rewarding

by Angela Mohan on November 2, 2020 at 11:54 PM
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Lack Of Sleep Could Make Cocaine More Rewarding

Insomnia can increase the rewarding properties of cocaine, as per the study in eNeuro.

Poor sleep and cocaine use go hand-in-hand. Both acute and chronic cocaine use disrupts sleep, and sleep disturbances can increase the likelihood of relapse. But it's unclear how sleep deprivation contributes to cocaine addiction.

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The orexin system, which influences motivated and addictive behaviors through the peptide orexin, may underly the relationship: orexin activity increases during sleep deprivation, and blocking orexin receptors reduces reward-seeking.

Bjorness and Greene conditioned mice to associate a room with cocaine and examined how sleep deprivation affected their ability to develop a preference for the cocaine room. Sleep-deprived mice formed a preference for a lower dose of cocaine, one that did not affect rested mice.

They also formed a stronger preference for a standard cocaine dose, indicating an increase in the amount of reward cocaine provided. Blocking the orexin system reduced the increased cocaine preference driven by sleep deprivation.

Source: Eurekalert
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