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Dr. Marilyn Huestis Q & A: Matching Drug Effects to Drug Concentrations

Dr. Marilyn Huestis of NIDA’s Intramural Research Program talks about conducting research on drug effects with human subjects, developing tests to help law enforcement identify drugged drivers, and an assay to help identify children whose prenatal exposure to anti-HIV drugs may put them at risk for adverse developmental outcomes.

Male Rats’ Cocaine Exposure Affects Their Offspring’s Drug Responses

In a surprising finding, male rats who used cocaine sired male offspring who later exhibited blunted responses to the drug. Researchers determined the cause was an epigenetic alteration.

Study Pinpoints Cognitive Deficits Due to Cocaine, Finds Potential for Recovery

New research demonstrated that, in rhesus monkeys, ongoing cocaine exposure weakens two brain functions that people require for successful behavioral change: cognitive flexibility and memory. But the study determined that these changes may not be permanent.

After Release, Jail Inmates’ Substance Use Patterns Relate to Their Choice of Friends

When the goal is to avoid using alcohol and illicit substances after being released from jail, it’s who one’s friends are that counts most. Self-control is important because it helps a person have the right kind of friends.

NIH study sheds light on how to reset the addicted brain

Could drug addiction treatment of the future be as simple as an on/off switch in the brain?


NIDA research shines light on a potential target for cocaine addiction

NIDA research published January 17 in Cell provides insight into the mechanism of action of the Sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R), a protein located inside brain nerve cells that has long been suspected of contributing to the persistent, harmful effects of chronic cocaine use.


Adolescent Cigarette, Alcohol Use Declines as Marijuana Use Rises

Fewer teens are using cigarettes, alcohol, and most illicit drugs, according to NIDA’s latest Monitoring the Future study. Troubling  trends persist in marijuana use, however, and nonmedical prescription drug use remains a concern.

Nicotine Makes Mouse Brain More Responsive to Cocaine

Nicotine sensitizes the mouse brain to the addictive effects of cocaine, according to recent NIDA-supported research. The results accord with the hypothesis that a person’s initial use of an addictive substance physiologically sensitizes his or her brain to the rewarding and addictive effects of other substances. If the findings carry over to people, then preventing youths from smoking might reduce their vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction, and cocaine-dependent individuals might ease their path to recovery by quitting smoking.

Animation: Building an Anti-Drug Vaccine

The immune system has an extraordinary ability to recognize compounds foreign to the body and eliminate them. NIDA-sponsored scientists are working to harness this ability to create vaccines that will protect individuals against the psychogenic and addictive effects of abused drugs. This animation shows one of the most promising strategies, which has already yielded partial success in producing effective vaccines against nicotine, cocaine, and other drugs.

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