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NIDA

Addiction Science

Low Dopamine Receptor Availability May Promote Cocaine Addiction

Describes findings from an animal study showing that cocaine lowers availability of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that includes portions of the reward system.

Stimulus Money Will Fund a Surge in Knowledge

NIDA Director Nora Volkow

Describes NIDA’s drug abuse and addiction research priorities for the use of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds.

Damage to Brain Area May Immediately Halt Cigarette Addiction

Describes a study among people who had sustained brain injuries to investigate whether certain damaged areas of the brain are associated with the ability to quit smoking.

Cocaine Locks Rats Into Unrewarding Behaviors

Describes research with rats to better understand cocaine’s effect on the neural signaling in the learning circuits of the brain.

NIDA Initiates Pediatrics Symposium on Adolescent Health

Presents highlights of a symposium sponsored by NIDA in October 2008 to discuss adolescent brain and cognitive development and consider the impact of drug abuse on young people.

Universities Offer Online Master's Program in Addiction Studies

Describes a consortium of three universities that launched a 12-month intensive online program last August that leads to a master's degree in addiction studies.

Methamphetamine Abuse Alters Response to Facial Cues

Highlights research showing methamphetamine abusers may have more difficulty than nonabusers in responding with empathy and self-control to people who are experiencing intense emotions.

Sensory Aspects of Smoking May Counter Bad Mood, Craving

Describes study findings revealing that the act of smoking, apart from actual or expected nicotine delivery, may soothe a smoker's negative mood.

Drug Cues Outside Awareness Rapidly Trigger Brain's Emotion Centers

Describes research showing that cocaine abusers appear to have a rapid neural response to reward cues outside of their awareness, possibly signifying vulnerability to relapse.

Receptor Complexes Link Dopamine to Long-Term Neuronal Effects

Reports on a discovery of previously unrecognized dopamine receptors in the brain that when triggered by drug abuse lead to potentially long-term neuronal effects.

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