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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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Brain Changes Accompany Cocaine Withdrawal

February 2007
Summarizes an animal study of the neural changes in the amygdala portion of the brain that occur as a result of cocaine exposure followed by withdrawal of the drug.

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Brain Opioid Receptor Levels Predict Time to Cocaine Relapse

October 2010
Describes study findings revealing that cocaine abusers who maintain high levels of a certain receptor in their brain during early abstinence relapse sooner than abusers whose levels drop.

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Brain Proteins Differ in Cocaine-Overdose Victims

December 2008

Describes research findings showing differences in protein concentrations in the brain pleasure centers of people who died from cocaine overdose as compared with those who did not abuse the drug.

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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 Alters Production of Hundreds of Proteins

March 2011

Describes research findings that show that chronic cocaine abuse may change the production of many proteins in the neurons of the brain’s reward system, aiding in our understanding how the drug causes addiction.

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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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Cocaine Craving Activates Brain Reward Structures; Cocaine "High" Dampens Them

February 2007
Reports on a study that documenting changing emotional and neurobiological responses to cocaine with successive doses during a single session of drug taking.

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Cocaine Locks Rats Into Unrewarding Behaviors

April 2009

Describes research with rats to better understand cocaine’s effect on the neural signaling in the learning circuits of the brain.

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Crack Cocaine Promotes Progression of HIV Infection to AIDS

October 2010
Reports on two studies showing a high prevalence of HIV infection and more rapid progression to disability and death among drug abusers.

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Damage to Brain Area May Immediately Halt Cigarette Addiction

April 2009

Describes a study among people who had sustained brain injuries to investigate whether certain damaged areas of the brain are associated with the ability to quit smoking.

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