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NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

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Gene Variant Is Associated With Reduced HIV Transmission

March 2016

A gene variant appears to partially shield people whose behaviors entail high risk for exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from becoming infected.

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Gene Variants Reduce Opioid Risks

June 2014

Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.

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Genetic Overlap Between Substance Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

April 2010

Describes a literature analysis reporting on the prevalence of people with bipolar disorder who also have a substance use disorder and discusses the genetic link that may contribute to this comorbidity.

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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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Imaging Studies Elucidate Neurobiology of Cigarette Craving

December 2008

Reports on three separate imaging studies illuminating the neurobiology of cigarette craving.

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Immune System Plays Unexpected Role in Brain Development

September 2008

Describes research findings demonstrating that the immune system participates in the shaping of brain circuits during a child's development, a finding that may shed light on the origins of neurodegenerative diseases.

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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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In Animals, Receptor Puts Brakes on Nicotine Consumption

March 2012

New research suggests that differences in tobacco consumption reflect, in part, differences in the functional efficacy of a specific type of receptor in a pathway of the brain. In animal studies, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with the α5 subunit played a key role in producing aversive responses to nicotine, thereby dissuading further consumption of the drug.

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Investigators Map Functional Networks in the Rat Brain

June 2012

Researchers have mapped the fundamental functional organization of the rat brain and shown that it resembles that of the human brain.

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Long-Term Cocaine Abuse Linked With Impaired Heart Function

March 2008

Summarizes research on the effects of long-term regular cocaine abuse on the cardiovascular system in African Americans.

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