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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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High School Seniors Steadily Increase Nonmedical Use of Sedatives Over 15 years

October 2006

Highlights data from an annual national survey of youth showing a pattern of rising nonmedical use of sedatives among high school seniors.

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Stress Response May Underlie African- Americans' Reduced Pain Tolerance

October 2006

Summarizes research suggesting a physiological difference as the explanation for African-Americans' reported low tolerance for pain.

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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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Nicotine Alters the Developing Rat Brain

February 2007

Describes animal studies that suggested exposure to the drug during gestation or adolescence may cause lasting alterations in reward and motivation circuits.

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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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Scientists Pinpoint Brain's Sweet Tooth

April 2007

Reports on research that successfully traced rats’ liking for sweets to a 1-cubic millimeter site in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens in the brain.

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Tracing NET

October 2007

Describes research that has led to the development of a new tool, a new radiotracer, for studying the neurobiology of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and stimulant abuse.

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Gene Experiment Confirms a Suspected Cocaine Action

October 2007

Reports on the work of addiction researchers who are learning how acute and chronic cocaine exposure regulates certain genes, based on knowledge from developmental and cancer biology.

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Exposure to Morphine During Early Adolescence Sensitizes Rats as Adults

October 2007

Presents highlights of a study indicating that exposure to morphine during adolescence may increase sensitivity to the drug during adulthood.

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Impacts of Drugs on Neurotransmission

October 2007

Discusses the central importance of studying drugs' effects on neurotransmission and describes some of the most common experimental methods used in this research.

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