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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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Investigators Map Functional Networks in the Rat Brain

junio del 2012
Researchers have mapped the fundamental functional organization of the rat brain and shown that it resembles that of the human brain.

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Long-Term Cocaine Self-Administration Depresses Brain Activity

diciembre del 2008

Discusses research exploring how widespread the reduction of neural activity is in the brain with chronic exposure to cocaine.

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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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Lower Levels of Dopamine-Regulating Receptors Among Novelty Seekers

octubre del 2010

Describes research results reporting that people who favor novelty have lower-than-average availability of a receptor that inhibits dopamine's release from neurons, which likely stimulates the activity of reward circuits.

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

agosto del 2013

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.

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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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Marijuana Use May Promote Nicotine Consumption

abril del 2014

Exposing rats to THC increases the likelihood that the animals will later self-administer nicotine. THC-exposed rats are also willing to work harder to obtain nicotine. When extrapolated to people, the findings suggest that THC’s pharmacological impact on the brain may make a person who uses marijuana more vulnerable to developing nicotine addiction, an underappreciated health consequence of marijuana use.

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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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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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Methamphetamine Abusers Show Increased Distractibility

abril del 2009

Highlights findings from a study of former methamphetamine abusers showing evidence of impairment in areas of the brain known to influence cognition, emotion, and decision making.

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