In a recently published article, titled "Cocaine Shifts the Estrus Cycle Out of Phase and Caffeine Restores It" published by the Journal of Caffeine Research, Patricia Broderick, PhD and Lauren Malave, City College of New York and NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, show that cocaine shifts the estrus cycle, thereby changing a woman's estrogen levels. Caffeine can block these changes, suggesting that antagonists of the adenosine system may have a role in treating cocaine addiction.
One of their study’s conclusions is that cocaine's ability to disrupt a woman's period may explain the sex differences in cocaine addiction. It also presents new evidence that caffeine may be neuroprotective and able to block cocaine's direct effects on the estrus cycle. This could reveal novel treatment possibilities according to the authors.
In this video, Dr. Brandi Nichols, Women's Clinic of JCMG, explains the parameters of a normal period:
Background: Sex differences in cocaine abuse are well established. Females have a higher sensitivity and thus higher vulnerability to cocaine abuse compared to males. There are many studies showing that sensitivity to cocaine reward varies during the estrus cycle.
Methods: Vaginal smears were examined through a DIFF staining kit and viewed through a microscope to determine the estrus cycle stage. Smears were taken immediately before and after cocaine and/or caffeine injections. Furthermore, we suggest a new tool to analyze the estrus cycle by using electrical resistance of the vaginal mucosa.
Results: In the present study, we discovered that cocaine directly induced changes in the estrus cycle. Interestingly, caffeine did not affect the estrus cycle and nor did the combination of cocaine and caffeine. We observed that caffeine blocked the cocaine-induced estrus cycle changes using conventional exfoliate cytology. Therefore, caffeine may have neuroprotective properties on the changes induced by cocaine.
Conclusion: These phase changes in the estrus cycle may be the underlying cause of sex differences in cocaine addiction that can be blocked by caffeine. Thus, we propose a valuable insight into sex differences in cocaine abuse and reveal a possible treatment with antagonizing the adenosine system.
Link: Cocaine Shifts the Estrus Cycle Out of Phase and Caffeine Restores It