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In Animals, Receptor Puts Brakes on Nicotine Consumption

March 2012

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.

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Financial Strain Hinders Smoking Cessation

December 2011

Helping smokers deal with financial problems could improve their chances of staying abstinent after receiving treatment, according to a new study. Participants with the most financial strain had the least success in remaining abstinent.

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Stimulant Abusers' Regard for Future Improves With Memory Training

December 2011

Researchers correlate stimulant abusers’ improved performance on a memory training exerc ise with reductions in delay discounting.

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Marker for Neuronal Damage Resolves a Year after Methamphetamine

December 2011

New results extend previous findings that some methamphetamine-induced neuronal damage resolves after a year of abstinence.

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Program Helps Troubled Boys Reduce Substance Abuse

December 2011

Chronically delinquent boys in Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care reduced their substance abuse more than boys assigned to Community Group Care.

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Substance Abuse Among Older Adults

December 2011

Understanding and responding to drug abuse among America’s aging population becomes more urgent as a growing percentage of baby boomers enter the over-50 age bracket.

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Individual Differences in Decisionmaking Style May Predict Teen Problems

December 2011

Reports on the relative influence of genes versus environment on adolescents’ choices that involve delayed gratification.

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Molecular Alterations of DNA Contribute to Persistence of Memory

November 2011
In a new series of studies tracing the molecular events that occur in the brain as memories are formed and preserved, researchers find that certain epigenetic changes may promote vulnerability to relapse.

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Girls More Likely Than Boys to Use Ecstasy

November 2011
Lifetime ecstasy use is more prevalent among adolescent girls than among adolescent boys, according to an analysis of 2002–2008 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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Resting Brain Studies Shed New Light on Vulnerabilities

November 2011

Individuals with weak signaling in a nicotine-sensitive brain circuit were more vulnerable to nicotine dependence than those with stronger signaling, according to a study conducted while the subjects’ brains were in a resting state. A second resting-state study finds that the same circuit appears to mediate dependence associated with a genetic risk factor for smoking.

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