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THE PLEASURE CENTRES AFFECTED BY DRUGS

The
nucleus accumbens
definitely plays a central role in the reward
circuit
. Its operation is based chiefly on two essential neurotransmitters: dopamine,
which promotes desire, and serotonin,
whose effects include satiety and inhibition. Many animal studies
have shown that all drugs increase the production of dopamine in
the nucleus accumbens, while reducing that of serotonin.



But the nucleus accumbens does not work in isolation. It maintains close relations
with other centres involved in the mechanisms of pleasure, and in particular,
with the ventral tegmental area (VTA).




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