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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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Childhood Maltreatment Changes Cortical Network Architecture and May Raise Risk for Substance Use

November 2015

Young adults who had been maltreated as children differed from others who had not been maltreated in the connectivity of nine cortical regions. The differences could compromise the maltreated group’s basic social perceptual skills, ability to maintain a healthy balance between introversion and extroversion, and ability to self-regulate their emotions and behavior.

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Chromosome 17 Harbors Opioid Dependence Genes

March 2008

Describes the work of researchers who have found a statistical link between one region on chromosome 17 and an increased risk of opioid dependence.

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Cocaine Alters Production of Hundreds of Proteins

March 2011

Describes research findings that show that chronic cocaine abuse may change the production of many proteins in the neurons of the brain’s reward system, aiding in our understanding how the drug causes addiction.

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Cocaine Can Mobilize Stored Dopamine

March 2008

Describes a study showing that cocaine, which increases dopamine levels, also can tap into an intracellular dopamine reserve pool.

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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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Cocaine Locks Rats Into Unrewarding Behaviors

April 2009

Describes research with rats to better understand cocaine’s effect on the neural signaling in the learning circuits of the brain.

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Cognitive Strategy Reduces Craving by Altering Brain Activity

April 2012

While viewing images of cigarettes, smokers reported milder cravings when they shifted their focus from the pleasures of smoking to its harmful effects. Brain imaging showed a correlation between the reductions in craving and altered activity levels in regions associated with emotional regulation and reward.

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Crack Cocaine Promotes Progression of HIV Infection to AIDS

October 2010
Reports on two studies showing a high prevalence of HIV infection and more rapid progression to disability and death among drug abusers.

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Damage to Brain Area May Immediately Halt Cigarette Addiction

April 2009

Describes a study among people who had sustained brain injuries to investigate whether certain damaged areas of the brain are associated with the ability to quit smoking.

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Device Detects Marijuana in Breath Hours After Smoking

May 2014

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a dangerous public health concern. NIDA researchers have discovered that breath expelled into a Breathalyzer-style collection device contained measurable amounts of THC for up to 2 hours after participants in a recent clinical trial smoked the drug.

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