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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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Regular Marijuana Use Is Associated With Differences in Brain Gray Matter and Connectivity

September 2016
A brain imaging study strongly suggests that regular users of marijuana have smaller orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) volumes. Such a deficit could make it more difficult to change counterproductive behaviors, including drug use.

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Researchers Develop a New Tracer for Cannabinoid Receptor

March 2008
Describes a new chemical tracer that binds specifically to cannabinoid receptors making it potentially useful in future research to clarify the relationship between the receptors and drug abuse.

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Stimulant Abusers' Regard for Future Improves With Memory Training

December 2011
Researchers correlate stimulant abusers’ improved performance on a memory training exerc ise with reductions in delay discounting.

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Stimulants in “Bath Salts” Produce Effects Similar to MDMA

August 2013
Mephedrone and methylone, two stimulants commonly found in designer drugs such as “bath salts,” act on the brain much like MDMA (Ecstasy).

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Stimulus Money Will Fund a Surge in Knowledge

April 2009
Describes NIDA’s drug abuse and addiction research priorities for the use of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds.

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Stress Hormone Sets the Stage for Relapse to Cocaine Use

June 2015
A stressed rat will seek a dose of cocaine that is too weak to motivate an unstressed rat. Researchers traced the physiological pathway that links stress and the stress hormone corticosterone to increased dopamine activity and heightened responsiveness to cocaine.

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Stress-Induced Enzyme Compounds Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity

January 2014
Ketoprofen, an anti-inflammatory agent commonly prescribed to treat arthritis, reduces neuronal damage in rats that have been exposed to chronic stress and methamphetamine. If this finding of a recent NIDA-supported study extrapolates to humans, anti-inflammatory medications may gain a place in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction.

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Student-Scientists Present Award-Winning Research at NIDA

August 2014
Four high school students were honored for their work regarding e-cigarettes, the GABAA neuroreceptor, and adolescent multitasking.

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Study Finds Genetic Influence on African Americans’ Smoking

November 2013
A meta-analysis of 13 genome-wide association studies of African Americans’ smoking patterns confirms the significance of genetic variation in region 15q25.1. The analysis also tentatively implicates several genome locations that have not previously been associated with smoking behaviors.

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Study Pinpoints Cognitive Deficits Due to Cocaine, Finds Potential for Recovery

August 2013
New research demonstrated that, in rhesus monkeys, ongoing cocaine exposure weakens two brain functions that people require for successful behavioral change: cognitive flexibility and memory. But the study determined that these changes may not be permanent.

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