The L-type calcium channel antagonist, isradipine, reduces brain ischemia in animal models of ischemic stroke. These effects of isradipine appear more pronounced in dopamine (DA) rich brain regions. These same DA- rich brain regions have also been shown to be the areas most affected by cocaine-induced ischemic changes. Using a novel quantified approach to single photon emission computerized tomography, we demonstrated that isradipine pre- treatment prevented cocaine-induced ischemic changes, especially in these DA- rich brain regions. This is the first demonstration that any medication, including isradipine, can prevent the ischemic effects of cocaine on brain blood flow. Isradipine may, therefore, be a useful therapeutic agent for the prevention of brain ischemia in cocaine addicts.
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