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National Institute on Drug Abuse -  NIDA NOTES
Special Report: Brain Imaging Research
Volume 11, Number 5
November/December 1996

NIDA's Regional Neuroimaging Center

A new NIDA Regional Neuroimaging Center is employing MRI, PET, and SPECT in an integrative research strategy for the study of drug addiction. The Center, at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, is receiving support from NIDA, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The purpose of the Center is to deepen understanding of the mechanisms of addiction, develop and test new pharmacological treatments, and create new imaging tools to advance the understanding and treatment of addiction. One of the first projects to be tackled is the study of new medications designed to influence how the brain responds to cocaine, says Dr. Nora Volkow, chairman of the Medical Department and director of nuclear medicine at Brookhaven. The imaging tools will help the investigators determine how these new medicines work, for example, as well as optimum doses and side effects.

Several institutions already working with Brookhaven will participate in Center investigations. These include Columbia University, Duke University, various VA hospitals, and others. "This center, with its staff scientists and collaborating researchers at many institutions, will concentrate the efforts of many addiction researchers for the purpose of explaining and influencing the mechanism of addiction in the human brain," says Dr. Volkow.

From NIDA NOTES, November/December, 1996

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