Newly found brain pathway could be key to reducing opioid addiction

Researchers have identified a brain pathway in mice that governs the development of opioid tolerance. If the same exists in humans, treatments that inhibit it could prevent opioid addiction


8 February 2023

White opioid pills

The context in which opioids are taken can impact tolerance for their effects


A newly discovered brain pathway in mice may contribute to the development of opioid tolerance, suggesting that future therapies targeting this pathway could prevent opioid addiction and overdose.

Opioids like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl are effective painkillers, but also highly addictive as frequent use necessitates increasingly larger doses to achieve the same effect. This raises the risk of overdose, which is a growing problem in the US: in 2020, nearly 69,000 people died from opioid …

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