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Modulating drug taking and drug seeking through TAAR1 activation

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Please note: This talk is starting at 16.30

Research into treatment for problematic stimulant abuse has yet to find suitable pharmacotherapeutic agents to assist with detoxification, withdrawal, and relapse prevention. The newly discovered trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) constitutes a novel receptor target for medication development with great potential to treat the pathological changes produced by chronic drug exposure, especially stimulant abuse. Studies with transgenic animals indicate that changes in TAAR1 expression have a strong impact on psychomotor stimulant-induced behaviours. Moreover, the recent development of specific agonists at TAAR1 has allowed the identification of some of the functions of this receptor. TAAR1 is abundantly expressed in midbrain dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons, and their associated ascending pathways, and TAAR1 agonists are able to regulate the activity of dopamine neurons and control dopamine release in dopamine terminal regions. Evidence will be presented describing the remarkable ability of TAAR1 agonists to modulate stimulant-associated behaviours, with particular reference to drug taking and drug seeking behaviour. Short bio Dr. Juan J. Canales is a Reader in Behavioural Neuroscience in the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour at the University of Leicester. Dr. Canales obtained his doctorate at the University of Oxford and after post docs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, USA ) and the Valencia Foundation for Biomedical Research (Spain), he became Ramon y Cajal Senior Scientist and later Institute Investigator at the University of Valencia (Spain). Before joining the University of Leicester, Dr. Canales was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). His research focuses on the neuropharmacology of drug addiction, the discovery of new targets for therapeutic intervention in addiction, and the involvement of postnatal neurogenesis in health and psychopathology.

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