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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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Crack Cocaine Promotes Progression of HIV Infection to AIDS

octubre del 2010
Reports on two studies showing a high prevalence of HIV infection and more rapid progression to disability and death among drug abusers.

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Brain Opioid Receptor Levels Predict Time to Cocaine Relapse

octubre del 2010
Describes study findings revealing that cocaine abusers who maintain high levels of a certain receptor in their brain during early abstinence relapse sooner than abusers whose levels drop.

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Cocaine Alters Production of Hundreds of Proteins

Marzo del 2011

Describes research findings that show that chronic cocaine abuse may change the production of many proteins in the neurons of the brain’s reward system, aiding in our understanding how the drug causes addiction.

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Gene Influences Impact of Maternal Smoking on Children's Behavioral Problems

julio del 2011
Describes research showing that the combination of prenatal smoking exposure and specific genes increases children’s and adolescent’s risk for behavior problems.

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Neuropeptide Promotes Behaviors Tied to Addiction and Overeating

julio del 2011

Reports on several studies implicating a certain neuropeptide (a signaling molecule) in fostering addition and overeating and discusses implications for addiction treatment.

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New Class of Regulators for Addiction Genes

noviembre del 2011
New studies show that microRNAs, snippets of RNA implicated in a wide variety of biological processes, are involved in promoting and inhibiting cocaine addiction. The findings could pave a new path for the development of anti-addiction therapies.

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Resting Brain Studies Shed New Light on Vulnerabilities

noviembre del 2011

Individuals with weak signaling in a nicotine-sensitive brain circuit were more vulnerable to nicotine dependence than those with stronger signaling, according to a study conducted while the subjects’ brains were in a resting state. A second resting-state study finds that the same circuit appears to mediate dependence associated with a genetic risk factor for smoking.

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Disruption of Neuron Production in Adult Rats Increases Cocaine Taking

noviembre del 2011
Drug abuse may diminish production of new neurons in the brain’s hippocampus and thereby increase vulnerability to drug addiction.

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Molecular Alterations of DNA Contribute to Persistence of Memory

noviembre del 2011
In a new series of studies tracing the molecular events that occur in the brain as memories are formed and preserved, researchers find that certain epigenetic changes may promote vulnerability to relapse.

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Marker for Neuronal Damage Resolves a Year after Methamphetamine

diciembre del 2011

New results extend previous findings that some methamphetamine-induced neuronal damage resolves after a year of abstinence.

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