En español

NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

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.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Stress Receptor Mediates Lifelong Consequences of Early Trauma

November 2012

NIDA-supported research suggests that glucocorticoid receptor levels during early brain development affect the hard wiring of neural circuits that shape an individual’s basic emotional makeup. In mice, overexpression of the glucocorticoid gene in the first weeks after birth increased anxiety and response to cocaine in adulthood. These findings may help researchers understand the genetic background and the developmental trajectory of addiction.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Stress Hormone Sets the Stage for Relapse to Cocaine Use

June 2015

A stressed rat will seek a dose of cocaine that is too weak to motivate an unstressed rat. Researchers traced the physiological pathway that links stress and the stress hormone corticosterone to increased dopamine activity and heightened responsiveness to cocaine.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Stimulants in “Bath Salts” Produce Effects Similar to MDMA

August 2013

Mephedrone and methylone, two stimulants commonly found in designer drugs such as “bath salts,” act on the brain much like MDMA (Ecstasy).

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Sensory Aspects of Smoking May Counter Bad Mood, Craving

October 2009

Describes study findings revealing that the act of smoking, apart from actual or expected nicotine delivery, may soothe a smoker's negative mood.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

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.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

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.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Researchers Develop a New Tracer for Cannabinoid Receptor

March 2008

Describes a new chemical tracer that binds specifically to cannabinoid receptors making it potentially useful in future research to clarify the relationship between the receptors and drug abuse.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Regular Marijuana Use Is Associated With Differences in Brain Gray Matter and Connectivity

September 2016

A brain imaging study strongly suggests that regular users of marijuana have smaller orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) volumes. Such a deficit could make it more difficult to change counterproductive behaviors, including drug use.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Receptor Complexes Link Dopamine to Long-Term Neuronal Effects

October 2009

Reports on a discovery of previously unrecognized dopamine receptors in the brain that when triggered by drug abuse lead to potentially long-term neuronal effects.


NIDA Notes


Drug Topics

Drugs of Abuse

Population Groups

Related Topics