En español
NIDA

NIDA Notes Articles: Basic Science

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Impacts of Drugs on Neurotransmission

March 2017
Drugs can alter the way people think, feel, and behave by disrupting neurotransmission, the process of communication between brain cells. This article discusses the central importance of studying drugs’ effects on neurotransmission and describes some of the most common experimental methods used in this research.  En Español

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

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.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

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.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Low Dopamine Receptor Availability May Promote Cocaine Addiction

April 2009
Describes findings from an animal study showing that cocaine lowers availability of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that includes portions of the reward system.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Lower Levels of Dopamine-Regulating Receptors Among Novelty Seekers

October 2010
Describes research results reporting that people who favor novelty have lower-than-average availability of a receptor that inhibits dopamine's release from neurons, which likely stimulates the activity of reward circuits.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Male Rats’ Cocaine Exposure Affects Their Offspring’s Drug Responses

August 2013
In a surprising finding, male rats who used cocaine sired male offspring who later exhibited blunted responses to the drug. Researchers determined the cause was an epigenetic alteration.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Marijuana Use May Promote Nicotine Consumption

April 2014
Exposing rats to THC increases the likelihood that the animals will later self-administer nicotine. THC-exposed rats are also willing to work harder to obtain nicotine. When extrapolated to people, the findings suggest that THC’s pharmacological impact on the brain may make a person who uses marijuana more vulnerable to developing nicotine addiction, an underappreciated health consequence of marijuana use.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Marker for Neuronal Damage Resolves a Year after Methamphetamine

December 2011
New results extend previous findings that some methamphetamine-induced neuronal damage resolves after a year of abstinence.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Methamphetamine Abusers Show Increased Distractibility

April 2009
Highlights findings from a study of former methamphetamine abusers showing evidence of impairment in areas of the brain known to influence cognition, emotion, and decision making.

NIDA Notes Category Graphic

Methamphetamine Alters Brain Structures, Impairs Mental Flexibility

March 2014
Methamphetamine alters brain structures involved in decision-making and impairs the ability to suppress habitual behaviors that have become useless or counterproductive. The two effects were correlated, indicating that the structural change underlies the decline in mental flexibility. En Español

Pages

NIDA Notes

Tags

Drug Topics

Drugs of Abuse

Population Groups

Related Topics