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