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Trigger for withdrawal symptoms identified

Users of heroin and other addictive opioids may be spared from distressing withdrawal symptoms in the future thanks to a research recently published in Nature Neuroscience.

The researchers describe for the first time a protein in nerve cells that drives the withdrawal response – a complex and intensely unpleasant syndrome that includes chills, sweating, cramps, elevated heart rate and blood pressure and increased sensitivity to pain.

The protein identified is called GABA transporter 1 (GAT-1). The researchers have found it causes a problem due to its excessive electrical activity in the brain during withdrawal from opioids.

Read more at Nature Neuroscience

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