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NIDA Notes – The Latest in NIDA Drug Abuse Research


NIDA Notes: The Latest in NIDA Drug Abuse Research


Adolescent Marijuana Use Is Linked to Altered Neural Circuitry and Mood Symptoms

Some teens’ marijuana use has been linked to disrupted communication between two key regions in the brain’s reward circuitry at age 20. Disrupted communication between the regions was associated with poorer psychosocial functioning at age 22. Read more »

Functional connectivity within the medial prefrontal cortex was measured in the areas highlighted in red.

How Cocaine Cues Get Planted in the Brain

An epigenetic mechanism underlies the powerful cocaine–environment associations that promote relapse. Read more »

Cocaine Strengthens Synaptic Connections by Preventing HDAC5 From Suppressing Npas4 Expression in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc)

Disruption of Serotonin Contributes to Cocaine’s Effects

This research traced the effects of cocaine-induced disruption of serotonin regulation in the ventral pallidum and orbitofrontal cortex. The findings suggest that these effects may contribute to drug-seeking and cocaine-associated cognitive impairments. Read more »

Cocaine Alters Serotonin Signaling in the Ventral Pallidum (VP) To Increase Overall Basal Ganglia Output

Cocaine-Induced Increase in an Immune Protein Promotes Addiction Behaviors in Mice

Cocaine produces a portion of its rewarding effects by increasing levels of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the brain’s reward center. Treatments that prevent G-CSF signaling in the nucleus accumbens might reduce motivation to use cocaine. Read more »

Cocaine-Induced Increase in an Immune Protein Promotes Addiction Behaviors in Mice

A New Tool for Investigating HIV in the Brain

Researchers developed a tool that enables them to closely monitor HIV activity in key brain cells. The tool may accelerate the development of treatments for HIV in the brain. Read more »

Strategy Used To Create Microglia Containing a Modified HIV Provirus

Amphetamine Diverts the Brain’s Path to Maturity

A key mechanism of adolescent brain development can be disrupted by amphetamine. Read more or read in Spanish.

Exposure to Amphetamine Alters Dopamine Axons and Reduces the Density of Dopamine Synapses in the Prefrontal Cortex


New Studies Clarify Risk Factors for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

A recent study found higher rates of NAS among males than among females. A second study found that, among infants whose mothers were treated with buprenorphine while pregnant, NAS was more severe among those whose mothers used other substances. Read more »

Newborn yawning while in mother's arms

Prescription Opioid Misuse Treatment Leverages Mindfulness To Amplify Natural Rewards

Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) reduces opioid misuse among chronic pain patients. MORE shifts patients’ attention away from drug cues and toward cues for natural rewards. Read more »

Man with eyes closed

Switching to Reduced-Nicotine Cigarettes May Aid in Quitting Smoking

Smokers who switch to cigarettes with very low nicotine content may experience mild and transient increases in some withdrawal symptoms. Cigarettes with reduced nicotine would be easier to quit than the cigarettes marketed at present. Read more »

Switching to Reduced-Nicotine Cigarettes May Aid in Quitting Smoking


Integrated Intervention Benefits People Who Inject Drugs and Have HIV

In this international trial, participants who received the intervention engaged in HIV treatment, achieved viral suppression at higher rates, and died at half the rate of participants in a control group. Read more or watch an interview with the researcher.

Treatment Site for the Integrated Treatment Trial (HPTN 074) in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam.

E-Cigarettes Promote Smoking Progression in Youth and Depress Quitting Among Adults

E-cigarettes are not an effective tool to reduce combustible-cigarette smoking, two NIDA-supported studies indicate. Read more »

Cloud of smoke


Proven Prevention Program Aims To Adapt for Native Americans

A survey that is a key tool in the Communities That Care prevention system is largely valid in Native American communities. Adjusting the survey to incorporate culturally specific risk and protective factors can improve its usefulness. Read more »

Proven Prevention Program Aims To Adapt for Native Americans
For more articles like these, follow #NIDAscience.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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