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Basic Science

Stronger Brain Circuit Connectivity May Predict Nicotine Dependence Severity

The degree of connectivity of a neuronal network in the rat brain before nicotine exposure can help predict nicotine dependence severity after nicotine exposure as well as reversal of dependence after a period of abstinence.

Basic Science

Machine Learning Applied to Brain Imaging Data Predicts Response to Cocaine Use Disorder Treatment

This study demonstrated that functional connectivity among a large number of brain regions predicts patients’ chances of achieving abstinence in treatment for cocaine use disorder.

Basic Science

THC Exposure in Adolescence Disrupts Brain Maturation in Animals

Exposing adolescent rats to THC disrupted normal maturation of a key set of neurons in a brain area that corresponds to the human prefrontal cortex. The disruptions produced structural differences that resemble patterns which have been observed in people with addiction and schizophrenia.

Basic Science

El consumo de marihuana en la adolescencia está vinculado a alteraciones en el circuito neural y en los síntomas del estado de ánimo

Un estudio encontró que el consumo de marihuana en la adolescencia está vinculado a alteraciones en el circuito neural.

Basic Science

Nicotine and Cannabis Have Offsetting Effects on Resting Brain Connectivity

These findings add to research showing that nicotine and cannabis have interactive effects on brain structure and function. They also suggest that specialized treatment interventions may be appropriate for people who use both drugs.

Basic Science

Cannabis Dependence Is Associated With Changes in Neural Circuitry That May Contribute to Psychopathology

People with cannabis dependence have changes in neural circuitry in brain regions related to reward processing, habit formation, and psychopathology. These changes in neural circuitry may provide a useful marker for tracking psychopathology associated with cannabis misuse.

Basic Science

Research Links Adolescent Substance Use to Adult Brain Volumes

This research revealed associations between nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana use during two periods of adolescence and smaller gray matter volume in two brain areas at age 25.

Basic Science

Transcription Factor E2F3a Mediates Cocaine’s Effects on Gene Expression and Addiction-Related Behaviors

This study demonstrated that cocaine increases expression of the protein E2F3a in the brain’s reward system. The changes in E2F3a levels in the nucleus accumbens are tied to addiction-related behaviors and to altered gene expression.

Basic Science

El maltrato infantil modifica la arquitectura de la red cortical y puede aumentar el riesgo de consumo de drogas

El maltrato infantil altera el desarrollo del cerebro del niño en formas que pueden aumentar su riesgo de consumir drogas y sufrir otros trastornos mentales en la edad adulta.

Basic Science

Disruption of Serotonin Contributes to Cocaine’s Effects

This research traced the effects of cocaine-induced disruption of serotonin regulation in the ventral pallidum and orbitofrontal cortex. The findings suggest that these effects may contribute to drug-seeking and cocaine-associated cognitive impairments.

Basic Science

Cocaine-Induced Increase in an Immune Protein Promotes Addiction Behaviors in Mice

Cocaine produces a portion of its rewarding effects by increasing levels of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the brain’s reward center. Treatments that prevent G-CSF signaling in the nucleus accumbens might reduce motivation to use cocaine.

Basic Science

How Cocaine Cues Get Planted in the Brain

An epigenetic mechanism underlies the powerful cocaine–environment associations that promote relapse.

Basic Science

La metanfetamina altera las estructuras cerebrales y perjudica la flexibilidad mental

Los investigadores patrocinados por el NIDA mostraron que, en los monos, la metanfetamina altera las estructuras cerebrales involucradas en la toma de decisiones y afecta negativamente la capacidad de eliminar los comportamientos habituales que se han vuelto inútiles o contraproducentes.

Basic Science

A New Tool for Investigating HIV in the Brain

Researchers developed a tool that enables them to closely monitor HIV activity in key brain cells. The tool may accelerate the development of treatments for HIV in the brain.

Basic Science

Adolescent Marijuana Use Is Linked to Altered Neural Circuitry and Mood Symptoms

Some teens' marijuana use has been linked to disrupted communication between two key regions in the brain’s reward circuitry at age 20. Disrupted communication between the regions was associated with poorer psychosocial functioning at age 22.


A Family-Oriented Intervention May Reduce the Effects of Poverty on Brain Development

The parenting-focused Strong African American Families program can ameliorate poverty’s negative effects on limbic brain development.  


Deep Brain Stimulation Attenuates Rats’ Responses to Heroin

High-frequency electrical stimulation of neurons deep in the brain can reduce rats’ relapse-like behavior and motivation to take heroin. The finding strengthens hope that deep brain stimulation might offer a new treatment alternative for opioid addiction, particularly for patients who have not benefited from other treatments.

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