Non Animal Testing Database

Cocaine addiction makes the brain age faster

Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
Cocaine use disorder (CUD) is characterized by a loss of control over cocaine intake and is associated with structural, functional, and molecular alterations in the human brain. At the molecular level, epigenetic alterations are hypothesized to contribute to the higher-level functional and structural brain changes observed in CUD. Here, the researchers investigated epigenome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) signatures of CUD in human post-mortem brain tissue of 21 individuals with CUD and 21 individuals without a CUD diagnosis. They performed an epigenome-wide association study and analysed CUD-associated differentially methylated regions. The authors also investigated epigenetic age in CUD using epigenetic clocks for the assessment of biological age. The results from this study highlight that CUD is associated with epigenome-wide differences in DNAm levels, particularly related to synaptic signalling and neuroplasticity. The researchers found evidence that brain cells appear biologically ‘older’ in people with CUD, suggesting that these cells age faster than in people without substance use disorders.
DNA methylation in cocaine use disorder - An epigenome-wide approach in the human prefrontal cortex
Stephanie H. Witt
Added on: 05-02-2023
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