The topiramate is able to prevent from the neural alterations observed in rats’ brain after 20 days of cocaine administration.
The topiramate is an antiepileptic drug which has the opposite effects of cocaine on the nervous system. A study realized by the professor of Medicine of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Castellón, Rosa López Pedrajas, has shown that the topiramate is able to prevent, on a molecular scale, the harmful effects of the cocaine on rats’ brain. Therefore, in the future and once every necessary study concerning human application will be completed, this could be used as cocaine addiction treatment.
Other findings of this research led by the CEU-UCH University professor, show that the cocaine administration in rats damages the spatial memory of experiment for what have been learned before the cocaine use, a fact that has never been described before. It is a new neural effect of the cocaine which adds to other effects that were already described in previous researches over learning mechanisms and memory, and against which the topiramate has been proved to be efficient, in the case of rats.
In this rats study, the topiramate has been able to prevent from every alteration appearing after 20 days of cocaine administration, although, the professor López Pedrajas warns: “The study must be continued, since it concerns a research on rats, there is still a long way to go before its application to humans”
Addiction linked to the learning process and memory
The CEU-UCH University professor recalls that it has been widely studied that brain regions where the memory formation and storage take place (hippocampus and frontal cortex) are also involved in the addiction process development. Therefore it is necessary to find a treatment that helps in preventing cocaine effects on these regions of the central nervous system in order to avoid the addiction development and relapses during drug withdrawal periods.
Some of those research results have been published in the Journal of Neurochemistry and make part of the doctoral thesis of Rosa María López Pedrajas, professor of Medicine in the UCH-UCE University.
The research has been led by the doctors Javier Romero Gómez, from the Catholic University of San Vicente Mártir in Valencia, and María Muriach Saurí, from the Jaime I University of Castellón.