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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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Endocannabinoid Regulates Cocaine Reward

March 2017
Investigators have shown that 2-AG, an endocannabinoid (i.e., a cannabinoid manufactured within the body, as opposed to plant-derived), augments the cocaine-induced dopamine surge in the brain’s reward system. The discovery adds to evidence that inhibiting activity in the endocannabinoid system might reduce cocaine’s rewarding and addictive effects.  

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Epigenetics: The Promise of a New Science

March 2008
Discusses the role of epigenetics, the study of cellular mechanisms that control gene expression and its impacts on health and behavior, in addiction research.

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French Government Honors Dr. Volkow

October 2010
Announces the 2009 International Prize, awarded by the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, to NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow.

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Gene Transfer Therapy for Cocaine Addiction Passes Tests in Animals

January 2016
Giving mice a modified version of a naturally occurring gene blocks cocaine’s stimulant effects without affecting the animals’ physiological or metabolic health. The new evidence advances the proposed therapy a step closer to readiness for testing in people.

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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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Henry Yamamura Obituary

December 2008
Remembers Henry I. "Hank" Yamamura, an eminent neuropharmacologist who pioneered radioligand binding assays, contributing valuable knowledge about neurotransmitter transporters and receptors.

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How-To Guides Provide Tips for Publishing Addiction-Related Articles

April 2010
Describes a book and online tutorial for young investigators of addiction science that provides tips for publishing their studies in scholarly journals.

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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

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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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