Identifying novel therapeutics for the treatment of substance use disorder (SUD) is an area of intensive investigation. Prior strategies that have attempted to modify one or a few neurotransmitter receptors have had limited success, and currently there are no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana use disorders. Because drugs of abuse are known to alter the expression of numerous genes in reward-related brain regions, epigenetic-based therapies have emerged as intriguing targets for therapeutic innovation. Here, I evaluate potential therapeutic approaches and challenges in targeting epigenetic factors for the treatment of SUD and highlight examples of promising strategies and future directions.
Keywords: Addiction; Cocaine; Epigenetics; Substance use disorder; Therapeutics.
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