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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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Researchers Develop a New Tracer for Cannabinoid Receptor

March 2008
Describes a new chemical tracer that binds specifically to cannabinoid receptors making it potentially useful in future research to clarify the relationship between the receptors and drug abuse.

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Not All Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons Are Alike

March 2008

Reports on research showing that the neurons that deliver dopamine to two regions of the brain's mesolimbic reward system respond differently to opioids, an important finding for drug treatment research.

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Alcohol Abuse Makes Prescription Drug Abuse More Likely

March 2008

Reports on results from a study showing that men and women with alcohol use disorders are more likely to report nonmedical use of prescription drugs than people who don't drink at all.

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Long-Term Cocaine Abuse Linked With Impaired Heart Function

March 2008
Summarizes research on the effects of long-term regular cocaine abuse on the cardiovascular system in African Americans.

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Chromosome 17 Harbors Opioid Dependence Genes

March 2008

Describes the work of researchers who have found a statistical link between one region on chromosome 17 and an increased risk of opioid dependence.

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Cocaine Can Mobilize Stored Dopamine

March 2008

Describes a study showing that cocaine, which increases dopamine levels, also can tap into an intracellular dopamine reserve pool.

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Impacts of Drugs on Neurotransmission

October 2007

Discusses the central importance of studying drugs' effects on neurotransmission and describes some of the most common experimental methods used in this research.

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Exposure to Morphine During Early Adolescence Sensitizes Rats as Adults

October 2007

Presents highlights of a study indicating that exposure to morphine during adolescence may increase sensitivity to the drug during adulthood.

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Neuropeptide Promotes Drug-Seeking and Craving in Rats

October 2007
Reports on two studies indicating that orexin, a neuropeptide that stimulates eating and regulates wakefulness, also fosters animals' drug seeking and craving responses to drugs.

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NIDA Will Contribute to Obesity Research

October 2007

Describes an NIH-wide obesity task force and research plan and explores some of the links between addiction and compulsive eating.

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