Science Spotlight

October 29, 2013

Marijuana plantMarijuana plant

NIDA funded researchers report that kynurenic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the brain that can lessen the effects of THC in animal models of drug abuse and addiction. The acid acts by reducing the function of alpha-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

If effective in humans, this could lead to a medication for the treatment of marijuana addiction. There are currently no approved medications for treating marijuana addiction, estimated to occur in nine percent of users.

For a copy of the study, published online Oct 13, go to www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn.3540.html.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245.

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