ARTICLE | Translation in Brief

Extinguishing aversion

How activating RAC1 could extinguish aversive memories of drug withdrawal

August 31, 2017 4:22 PM UTC

Last month in the Journal of Neuroscience, a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences showed activating RAC1 could help treat opioid addiction by extinguishing the aversive memories of withdrawal that cause relapse in some patients.

Most therapies marketed or in development for opioid addiction act by replacing the addictive drug with a longer-acting but less potent opioid, or by competing with opioids for their endogenous receptors to limit the addictive drug's effects. Neither exempts the addicted individual from experiencing withdrawal symptoms after ceasing use of the addictive drug or its substitute. And aversive memories of withdrawal from previous attempts at quitting often make patients fearful to try again...