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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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

October 2018
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.

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How Cocaine Cues Get Planted in the Brain

September 2018
An epigenetic mechanism underlies the powerful cocaine–environment associations that promote relapse.

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A New Tool for Investigating HIV in the Brain

August 2018
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.

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

August 2018
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.

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Amphetamine Diverts the Brain’s Path to Maturity

July 2018
A key mechanism of adolescent brain development can be disrupted by amphetamine.

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A Gene Links Impulsivity and Drug Use Vulnerability

June 2018
Understanding the relationships between impulsivity and drug use vulnerability may help identify new ways of treating or preventing substance use disorders.

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Why Marijuana Displeases

March 2018
This study demonstrated how THC produces aversive effects in mice and suggests a mechanism to explain why people experience rewarding, aversive, or mixed effects from marijuana.

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EEG Indicates That Cocaine Relapse Vulnerability Peaks 1 to 6 Months Into Abstinence

September 2017
Electroencephalography (EEG) may provide an objective measure of cocaine-addicted participants’ vulnerability to cue-induced relapse. The assessment of cue-induced responsiveness may be useful in the clinical setting for assessing relapse risk and tailoring interventions to maintain abstinence among cocaine-addicted adults. 

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Variation in the Gene for the μ-Opioid Receptor May Influence Responses to Methadone

August 2017
A single nucleotide polymorphism in the messenger RNA of the µ-opioid receptor gene was associated with patients’ responses to methadone treatment for opioid dependence.

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Why Females Are More Sensitive to Cocaine

August 2017
New research demonstrates that the hormone estradiol is responsible for females’ increased sensitivity to stimulant drugs.

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