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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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THC Hampers Spatial Memory Development in Young Monkeys

September 2015
Adolescent monkeys that were exposed to THC fell progressively further behind THC-free monkeys in their ability to recall the location of an object after a brief delay.

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Variation in the Gene for the μ-Opioid Receptor May Influence Responses to Methadone

August 2017
A single nucleotide polymorphism in the messenger RNA of the µ-opioid receptor gene was associated with patients’ responses to methadone treatment for opioid dependence.

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Waletzky Memorial Award Winners’ Lectures at NIDA Illuminate Cocaine’s Many Effects on Brain Structure, Circuitry

January 2015
Dr. Paul E. M. Phillips spoke on “Phasic Dopamine Transmission During Substance Abuse,” describing investigations that he has led into the role of brief, seconds-long bursts of dopamine signaling in addictive processes. Dr. Rita Z. Goldstein spoke on “Targeting the Brain, Cognition, and Motivation for Intervention in Addiction.”

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Why Are Our Brains So Big and Powerful?

March 2017
Research suggests that unique patterns of gene regulation have contributed to the differences in brain size and capacity that distinguish humans from other animals.

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Why Do People Lose Control Over Their Cocaine Use?

September 2016
Researchers monitored the activity of two types of neurons in mice: “urge” neurons, which promote feelings of reward and repeating behaviors that have produced rewards, and “control” neurons, which dampen those feelings and inhibit behavior. En Español

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Why Females Are More Sensitive to Cocaine

August 2017
New research demonstrates that the hormone estradiol is responsible for females’ increased sensitivity to stimulant drugs.

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Why Marijuana Displeases

March 2018
This study demonstrated how THC produces aversive effects in mice and suggests a mechanism to explain why people experience rewarding, aversive, or mixed effects from marijuana.

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Why Take a Drug That No Longer Gives Pleasure?

September 2015
In mice, a cocaine-induced imbalance in the activity of two key populations of neurons in the reward system persists for a longer period after repeated exposure to the drug. For long-term users, this change could both weaken the cocaine “high” and strengthen the compulsion to seek the drug.

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