Finding hope on a molecular level

Artist rendering of a molecule

Drug addiction has been a major, worldwide public health concern for decades, especially in developed countries. Unfortunately, there are limited treatments. Increasing evidence indicates that neurological inflammation is involved in the development of drug addiction, but how it contributes remains elusive.
The CINID addiction laboratory explores how inflammation promotes drug addiction at the molecular level. The long-term goal is to determine how interactions between the nervous and immune system encourage drug addiction. This knowledge could then help researchers discover methods that lessen or even block the biochemical reactions that lead to drug addiction. Of particular interest are ways abused drugs injure neurons, especially when an infection like HIV is present.