A study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry has found that cocaine addiction leads to changes in the DNA methylation of Brodmann Area 9 (BA9), a subregion in the prefrontal cortex, which plays an important role in self-awareness and inhibitory control, and that these changes might contribute to structural and functional changes in the brain and in turn, behavioral aspects of addiction.
DNA methylation is a chemical process that can control how genes work. It works by adding a small chemical group called a methyl group to a specific place on a DNA molecule. This can make the gene less likely to be turned on, which means it will be less active. It’s a way that cells can change the way genes behave without changing the DNA sequence itself. It’s like a light switch that can turn genes on and off, and cells use it to control which genes are active at any given time.
In the study, the brains of 42 deceased male donors were analyzed, half of whom had cocaine use disorder (CUD) while the other half had not. The brains were cryo-preserved as the study of the brain methylome is invasive. The researchers identified 17 genomic regions in the brains of donors with CUD that had more methylation compared to donors without CUD, and three regions that had less methylation.
Ultimately, it was found that that cells in Brodmann Area 9 (BA9) appear biologically ‘older’ in people with CUD, evidence that these cells age faster than in people without substance use disorders.
Sad indeed to hear, but I guessed. I have two kids and luckily they never tried this crap.
Totally frightening, kids dont really know what the heck they are risking eh??? Thanks Simon
LikeLiked by 1 person
Most do it out of curiosity and to fit in with their peers, but soon find themselves trapped in a cycle of addiction.