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NIDA Notes Articles: Addiction Science

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Animation: Building an Anti-Drug Vaccine

December 2012

The immune system has an extraordinary ability to recognize compounds foreign to the body and eliminate them. NIDA-sponsored scientists are working to harness this ability to create vaccines that will protect individuals against the psychogenic and addictive effects of abused drugs. This animation shows one of the most promising strategies, which has already yielded partial success in producing effective vaccines against nicotine, cocaine, and other drugs.

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Dr. David Jentsch Receives the 2011 Waletzky Memorial Award

July 2012

Dr. J. David Jentsch is the recipient of the 2011 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. Dr. Jentsch and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, are studying genetic and neurochemical factors that influence individual differences in inhibitory control.

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Investigators Map Functional Networks in the Rat Brain

June 2012

Researchers have mapped the fundamental functional organization of the rat brain and shown that it resembles that of the human brain.

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Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Program

April 2012

NIDA’s Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Program focuses on gender-specific addiction risk factors and treatment needs.

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Well-Known Mechanism Underlies Benzodiazepines' Addictive Properties

April 2012

New research establishes that benzodiazepines cause addiction in a way similar to that of opioids, cannabinoids, and the club drug GHB. The discovery opens the door to designing new benzodiazepines that counteract anxiety but are not addictive.

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New Method Uncovers How Internal States Influence the Living Brain to Change Behavior

March 2012

In an innovative NIDA-funded study, published in Cell, scientists introduced a modified dopamine receptor gene into the brain of a living vinegar fly

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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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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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Molecular Alterations of DNA Contribute to Persistence of Memory

November 2011
In a new series of studies tracing the molecular events that occur in the brain as memories are formed and preserved, researchers find that certain epigenetic changes may promote vulnerability to relapse.

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NIDA's Drug Abuse Research Advances Science as a Whole

November 2011

NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow summarizes instances where discoveries with broad implications for human health arose from scientists seeking answers to addiction problems.

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