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In 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that nearly a million Americans were addicted to cocaine. The effect of cocaine on the brain and body is so powerful that even after state-of-the-art treatments, many people trying to quit relapse within a year.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic recently published progress toward a gene therapy that would treat cocaine addiction by making cocaine less rewarding.

Two scientists in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology—Professor Rebecca A. Prosser and Assistant Professor Rachel Patton McCord—are interested in understanding and treating human disease, including neurological disorders such as cocaine addiction. They have worked for years on how genes are turned on and off in people and the effects of cocaine on mice, respectively. And now, they are seeing a promising convergence of novel gene therapy and cocaine addiction therapy. Read the full article on The Conversation.

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Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,