TR 1 is a novel receptor in the brain that is activated by minute amounts of brain chemicals called trace amines.
Jun-Xu Li, MD, PhD, senior author and assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said that their research shows that trace amine associated receptor 1 - TR 1 - holds great promise as a novel drug target for the development of novel medications for cocaine addiction.
In comparison, the chemicals called trace amines are considered mere bit players.
Trace amines, so-named because they're present at low concentrations in the human brain, drew considerable interest in the 1960s.
The trace amines, which include tyramine, beta-phenylethylamine (beta-PEA), tryptamine, and octopamine, continued to draw some attention.
Although still speculative, the link between mental illness and trace amines has several lines of evidence supporting it.
As for schizophrenia, a surplus of trace amines may be part of the problem.
A recent study in fruit flies implicated one of the trace amines in the insect's response to cocaine, for example.