Discusses the central importance of studying drugs' effects on neurotransmission and describes some of the most common experimental methods used in this research.
Reports on the work of addiction researchers who are learning how acute and chronic cocaine exposure regulates certain genes, based on knowledge from developmental and cancer biology.
Describes a study showing that cocaine, which increases dopamine levels, also can tap into an intracellular dopamine reserve pool.
Reports on research showing that the neurons that deliver dopamine to two regions of the brain's mesolimbic reward system respond differently to opioids, an important finding for drug treatment research.
Describes the work of researchers who have found a statistical link between one region on chromosome 17 and an increased risk of opioid dependence.
Reports on research showing that newborns whose mothers abused methamphetamine during pregnancy showed lower rates of fetal growth as compared with unexposed newborns.
Reports on scientists who pinpointed the biochemical trigger from morphine that sets off a chain reaction that inhibits an immune cell that is key in fighting viruses and cancer.
Reports on a study involving researchers who successfully desensitized mice to cocaine by genetically altering their dopamine transporters.
Reports on evidence that toluene abuse can harm the nervous system and body, although scientists know relatively little about its specific actions.
Presents research findings linking 89 genes to drug abuse and dependence, found using genome-wide association studies, a new technique for identifying genes.