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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Damage Receptors That Influence Auditory Processing

abril del 2009

Reports on a series of animal experiments indicating that nicotine exposure during prenatal fetal development damages a set of receptors in the brain's auditory processing center.

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Damage to Brain Area May Immediately Halt Cigarette Addiction

abril del 2009

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.

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New Tracer for Nicotinic Receptors Promises Improved Specificity

abril del 2009

Reports on NIDA researchers who developed a new tracer compound that binds readily to nicotine receptors and enhances positron emission tomography images.

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Low Dopamine Receptor Availability May Promote Cocaine Addiction

abril del 2009

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.

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Manic Mice Show Heightened Sensitivity to Rewards

octubre del 2009

Reports on an animal study suggesting that the manic stage of bipolar disorder promotes signs of drug abuse vulnerability by enhancing sensitivity to rewards, both natural and drug-related.

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Methamphetamine Abuse Alters Response to Facial Cues

octubre del 2009

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.

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Receptor Complexes Link Dopamine to Long-Term Neuronal Effects

octubre del 2009

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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Drug Cues Outside Awareness Rapidly Trigger Brain's Emotion Centers

octubre del 2009

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.

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Ethnic Groups Have Contrasting Genetic Risks for Nicotine Addiction

octubre del 2009

Describes research exploring differences and similarities in the genetic profiles of African-Americans and European-Americans who are heavy smokers.

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Sensory Aspects of Smoking May Counter Bad Mood, Craving

octubre del 2009

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

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