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.
New research suggests that differences in tobacco consumption reflect, in part, differences in the functional efficacy of a specific type of receptor in a pathway of the brain. In animal studies, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with the α5 subunit played a key role in producing aversive responses to nicotine, thereby dissuading further consumption of the drug.
Describes research findings demonstrating that the immune system participates in the shaping of brain circuits during a child's development, a finding that may shed light on the origins of neurodegenerative diseases.
Describes a literature analysis reporting on the prevalence of people with bipolar disorder who also have a substance use disorder and discusses the genetic link that may contribute to this comorbidity.
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.