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Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.
Study patients with HIV–hepatitis C coinfection progressed to successive degrees of severity of liver fibrosis 9 years sooner than those infected with HCV alone. Further findings from the study suggest that suppressing HIV with antiretroviral medications may slow HCV-related liver fibrosis.
A trial of buprenorphine/naloxone (Bup/Nx) showed no evidence that the medicine was associated with liver damage. The drug gave results similar to those of methadone. The study data indicate that although most patients can be treated safely with either methadone or Bup/Nx without major concern for liver injury, clinicians are advised to continue to monitor the liver health of their patients who are on methadone or Bup/Nx therapy.
Study findings indicate that children exposed to methamphetamine prenatally show more signs of increased emotionality, anxiety, and depression than nonexposed children at ages 3 and 5 years.
Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.
Prenatal drug exposure can have behavioral effects that last well into adulthood, according to two studies of adult monkeys prenatally exposed to cocaine. In the first study, drug-exposed monkeys exhibited less flexibility than controls in adjusting to changing circumstances; in the second study, drug-exposed males exhibited a greater preference than controls for having rewards right away, a sign of impulsivity.
Understanding and responding to drug abuse among America’s aging population becomes more urgent as a growing percentage of baby boomers enter the over-50 age bracket.
New results extend previous findings that some methamphetamine-induced neuronal damage resolves after a year of abstinence.
Describes results from a nationwide survey among correctional facilities on the use of opioid replacement therapy for people who are addicted to heroin.
Describe a study of newly arrested youths where researchers found correlations between the youths' prevalence of these sexually transmitted diseases and their cocaine and marijuana use.
Highlights activities held during Brain Awareness Week for students in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, to learn about brain anatomy and function.
Reports an animal study presenting evidence that cocaine causes cognitive deficits that can persist well into abstinence.
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.
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.
Reports on scientists who pinpointed the biochemical trigger from morphine that sets off a chain reaction that inhibits an immune cell that is key in fighting viruses and cancer.
Reviews the changing lifespan of heroin abusers as compared with that of the general U.S. population based on 1962-1997 data.
Reports on evidence that toluene abuse can harm the nervous system and body, although scientists know relatively little about its specific actions.
Reports on research showing that newborns whose mothers abused methamphetamine during pregnancy showed lower rates of fetal growth as compared with unexposed newborns.
Describes research providing evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy contributes to behavioral conduct disorders among toddlers, school-age children, and teens.
Summarizes research suggesting a physiological difference as the explanation for African-Americans' reported low tolerance for pain.
Highlights research on the effects of steroid use on the brain and the rest of the body, and stresses the need to educate young people about the serious health risks associated with its use.