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Non-nociceptive roles of opioids in the CNS: opioids' effects on neurogenesis, learning, memory and affect.

  • Author(s): Kibaly, Cherkaouia
  • Xu, Chi
  • Cahill, Catherine M
  • Evans, Christopher J
  • Law, Ping-Yee
  • et al.

Mortality due to opioid use has grown to the point where, for the first time in history, opioid-related deaths exceed those caused by car accidents in many states in the United States. Changes in the prescribing of opioids for pain and the illicit use of fentanyl (and derivatives) have contributed to the current epidemic. Less known is the impact of opioids on hippocampal neurogenesis, the functional manipulation of which may improve the deleterious effects of opioid use. We provide new insights into how the dysregulation of neurogenesis by opioids can modify learning and affect, mood and emotions, processes that have been well accepted to motivate addictive behaviours.

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