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Neuroscience Education Program Encourages Learning at All Ages

July 2012
Eight scientists have received National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to develop K-12 education programs that will engage young people in learning about the brain, inspire some to pursue careers in biomedical science, and increase teacher knowledge of neuroscience. The 5-year grants are funded by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Science Education.

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Dr. David Jentsch Receives the 2011 Waletzky Memorial Award

July 2012
Dr. J. David Jentsch is the recipient of the 2011 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. Dr. Jentsch and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, are studying genetic and neurochemical factors that influence individual differences in inhibitory control.

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Investigators Map Functional Networks in the Rat Brain

June 2012
Researchers have mapped the fundamental functional organization of the rat brain and shown that it resembles that of the human brain.

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Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

June 2012

Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

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Alleviation of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder May Improve Addiction Treatment

April 2012

Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who abused drugs responded better to substance abuse treatment after their PTSD symptoms improved, according to a recent study, which also found that reductions in substance abuse did not ease PTSD severity

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Cognitive Strategy Reduces Craving by Altering Brain Activity

April 2012

While viewing images of cigarettes, smokers reported milder cravings when they shifted their focus from the pleasures of smoking to its harmful effects. Brain imaging showed a correlation between the reductions in craving and altered activity levels in regions associated with emotional regulation and reward.

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Vouchers Improve Mothers’ Smoking Abstinence and Newborns’ Weight

April 2012

Pregnant women who received financial incentives to refrain from smoking during late pregnancy were more successful at remaining abstinent and less likely to have babies with low birth weight, according to data from three trials.

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Desire to Smoke Subsides, But Cigarette Cues Retain Power

April 2012

During early abstinence, smokers’ cravings triggered by cigarette cues intensified over time, providing evidence that people can experience a phenomenon previously observed in experiments with animals

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Well-Known Mechanism Underlies Benzodiazepines' Addictive Properties

April 2012
New research establishes that benzodiazepines cause addiction in a way similar to that of opioids, cannabinoids, and the club drug GHB. The discovery opens the door to designing new benzodiazepines that counteract anxiety but are not addictive.

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Tobacco Smokers Have High Probability of Transition to Dependence

April 2012
First-time smokers have a much higher chance of eventually becoming dependent than first-time users alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine.

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