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NIDA Notes Articles: Smoking

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Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Damage Receptors That Influence Auditory Processing

April 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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Parental Supervision and Genetics Interact To Influence Nicotine Addiction

December 2010

Reviews research indicating that both parental influence and certain genes interact to influence nicotine addiction and that parental monitoring may play a role in reducing risk.

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NIDA Announces Avant-Garde Medication Development Awards

March 2012
Dr. Thomas Kosten of Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Peter Burkhard of the University of Connecticut are the recipients of NIDA’s 2011 Avant-Garde Awards for Innovative Medication Development Research. Dr. Kosten is developing a vaccine against methamphetamine abuse and Dr. Burkhard is developing a vaccine to counter nicotine addiction.

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Nicotine Makes Mouse Brain More Responsive to Cocaine

February 2013

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.

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Nicotine Dependence is Linked With Mental Disorders in Pregnant Women

December 2008

Reports on a link between mental disorders, including mood, anxiety, or personality disorder and nicotine dependence in pregnancy women.

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Nicotine Boosts Mood, Brain Dopamine Levels

November 2009

Highlights findings from a study showing that nicotine triggers a surge in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain's main reward area for cigarette smokers.

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Nicotine Alters the Developing Rat Brain

February 2007
Describes animal studies that suggested exposure to the drug during gestation or adolescence may cause lasting alterations in reward and motivation circuits.

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New Tracer for Nicotinic Receptors Promises Improved Specificity

April 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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Neuroimaging Challenges Common Assumption of Public Service Messaging

October 2010
Describes a study of smokers' brain function while they watched antismoking PSAs and findings suggesting that calmer ads may be more effective.

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Nanotechnology Powers Smart Skin Patch

November 2011

An in vitro test demonstrates the potential of a programmable skin patch that will enable physicians to tailor transdermal medication doses to match patients' fluctuating needs.

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