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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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Dr. Marilyn Huestis Q & A: Matching Drug Effects to Drug Concentrations

September 2013
Dr. Marilyn Huestis of NIDA’s Intramural Research Program talks about conducting research on drug effects with human subjects, developing tests to help law enforcement identify drugged drivers, and an assay to help identify children whose prenatal exposure to anti-HIV drugs may put them at risk for adverse developmental outcomes.

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Drug Cues Outside Awareness Rapidly Trigger Brain's Emotion Centers

October 2009
Describes research showing that cocaine abusers appear to have a rapid neural response to reward cues outside of their awareness, possibly signifying vulnerability to relapse.

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EEG Indicates That Cocaine Relapse Vulnerability Peaks 1 to 6 Months Into Abstinence

September 2017
Electroencephalography (EEG) may provide an objective measure of cocaine-addicted participants’ vulnerability to cue-induced relapse. The assessment of cue-induced responsiveness may be useful in the clinical setting for assessing relapse risk and tailoring interventions to maintain abstinence among cocaine-addicted adults. 

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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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Exposure to Morphine During Early Adolescence Sensitizes Rats as Adults

October 2007
Presents highlights of a study indicating that exposure to morphine during adolescence may increase sensitivity to the drug during adulthood.

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Extended Cocaine Exposure Impairs Cognitive Function in Rats

November 2009
Reports an animal study presenting evidence that cocaine causes cognitive deficits that can persist well into abstinence.

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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 Experiment Confirms a Suspected Cocaine Action

October 2007
Reports on the work of addiction researchers who are learning how acute and chronic cocaine exposure regulates certain genes, based on knowledge from developmental and cancer biology.

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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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