HAMILTON MORRIS writes on VICE:
Hey. Did any of you read this paper on the role of G9a in cocaine-induced dendritic spine plasticity? No? OK, well did you at least read this summary of the findings in Time? Still no? Fine. The gist is that repeated coke use suppresses a protein called G9a, which slows the growth of dendritic spines in your neurons, which, as Time puts it, “can reflect learning, but in the case of addiction may involve learning to connect a place or person with the desire for more drugs.”
If you read that and thought, “Wait a second, is this a potentially beneficial effect of cocaine on your brain that they’re trying to spin as a danger?” then yes you are right. Potentially. There is a well established connection between number of dendritic spines and intelligence as measured by IQ (retarded children have long misshapen dendrites which are unevenly dispersed), but it really has to do with what pathways that extra dendritic power is being used to reinforce.