We will review the synaptic mechanisms that underlie the behavioral adaptations in drug addiction. Several forms of “drug-evoked synaptic plasticity” have been observed and links of causalities to addiction symptoms in rodent models were established. We will review experiment showing that normalizing synaptic transmission in vivo with optogenetic approaches can erase pathological behavior. In the last part we will develop translational protocols to emulate optogenetic protocols with deep brain stimulation, which may lead to clinical studies in the future.
Convergence of Reinforcing and Anhedonic Cocaine Effects in the Ventral Pallidum. Creed M, Ntamati NR, Chandra R, Lobo MK, Lüscher C. Neuron. 2016 Oct 5;92(1):214-226. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.09.001.
The Emergence of a Circuit Model for Addiction. Lüscher C. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016 Jul 8;39:257-76. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-070815-013920.
Sufficiency of Mesolimbic Dopamine Neuron Stimulation for the Progression to Addiction. Pascoli V, Terrier J, Hiver A, Lüscher C. Neuron. 2015 Dec 2;88(5):1054-66. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.017.
Scientific focus :
Christian Lüscher is a professor of Neuroscience at the University of Geneva and an attending in Neurology at the University Hospital of Geneva.
He obtained his medical degree from the Universities of Lausanne and Berne. After a residency in Neurology he spent three years at UC San Francisco to study synaptic plasticity. He established his own laboratory at the University of Geneva in 1999 with a career award of the Swiss NSF and became full professor in 2009.
Christian Lüscher has received several awards, including an ERC advanced grant, as well as the Bing, Cloëtta, Ott and Koetzer Prizes. He is an editor for eNeuro and Science.