NIH-funded study uses new technology to peek deep into the brain

Changes within deep regions of the brain can now be visualized at the cellular level, based on research on mice, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published Sunday in Nature Medicine, the study used a groundbreaking technique to explore cellular-level changes over a period of weeks within deep brain regions, providing a level of detail not possible with previously available methods. The study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Teen marijuana use increases, especially among eighth-graders

WASHINGTON -- Fueled by increases in marijuana use, the rate of eighth-graders saying they have used an illicit drug in the past year jumped to 16 percent, up from last year's 14.5 percent, with daily marijuana use up in all grades surveyed, according to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF).

For 12th-graders, declines in cigarette use accompanied by recent increases in marijuana use have put marijuana ahead of cigarette smoking by some measures. In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.

National Institute on Drug Abuse to Announce Results of 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will hold a press conference on Tuesday, December 14, to announce the results of its 2010 Monitoring the Future survey. The survey, funded by NIDA - part of the National Institutes of Health - tracks annual drug abuse trends of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students, including attitudes and perceived risk of specific illicit drugs. It is one of three major polling instruments the Department of Health and Human Services uses to monitor the nation's substance abuse patterns.

December 2010

Reports on 2009 data indicating a rise in drug abuse in the United States and the factors that may have contributed to this increase.

October 2010

Discusses 2009 prevalence rates of cigarette, alcohol, prescription drug, and illicit drug use among adolescents and discusses trends in use over time.

Studies on Combat Related Substance Use and Abuse to be Funded by NIH and VA

Eleven research institutions in 11 states will receive more than $6 million in federal funding from fiscal year 2010 to support research on substance abuse and associated problems among U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their families. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to award grants that will examine substance abuse related to deployment and combat related trauma.

In NIH-Funded Study, Researchers Uncover Early Step in the Cascade of Brain Events Leading up to Addiction

A regulatory protein best known for its role in a rare genetic brain disorder also may play a critical role in cocaine addiction, according to a recent study in rats, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

April 2010

Reports teen drug abuse based on 2006-2007 data from a national survey on drug use and health and compares differences by gender.

Common Mechanisms of Drug Abuse and Obesity

Some of the same brain mechanisms that fuel drug addiction in humans accompany the emergence of compulsive eating behaviors and the development of obesity in animals, according to research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

Impulsive-Antisocial Personality Traits Linked to a Hypersensitive Brain Reward System

Normal individuals who scored high on a measure of impulsive/antisocial traits display a hypersensitive brain reward system, according to a brain imaging study by researchers at Vanderbilt University. The findings provide the first evidence of differences in the brain’s reward system that may underlie vulnerability to what’s typically referred to as psychopathy.

The study in the current issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

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