November 2009
Declines in a dopamine receptor parallel deficits in vigilance and mental flexibility.

Reports an animal study presenting evidence that cocaine causes cognitive deficits that can persist well into abstinence.

November 2009

Highlights findings from a study showing that nicotine triggers a surge in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain's main reward area for cigarette smokers.

November 2009

Describes research providing evidence that chronic methamphetamine abuse is associated with increased microglial cell activity in the brain leading to neurodegeneration.

October 2009

Describes study findings revealing that the act of smoking, apart from actual or expected nicotine delivery, may soothe a smoker's negative mood.

October 2009
Manipulation of a gene produces mice with behaviors characteristic of bipolar disorder and signs of drug abuse vulnerability.

Reports on an animal study suggesting that the manic stage of bipolar disorder promotes signs of drug abuse vulnerability by enhancing sensitivity to rewards, both natural and drug-related.

October 2009

Highlights research showing methamphetamine abusers may have more difficulty than nonabusers in responding with empathy and self-control to people who are experiencing intense emotions.

October 2009
Discovery may open a new window on substance abuse and potential therapies.

Reports on a discovery of previously unrecognized dopamine receptors in the brain that when triggered by drug abuse lead to potentially long-term neuronal effects.

October 2009

Describes research showing that cocaine abusers appear to have a rapid neural response to reward cues outside of their awareness, possibly signifying vulnerability to relapse.

October 2009
Differences and similarities show up in genetic profiles of African-Americans and European-Americans who are heavy smokers.

Describes research exploring differences and similarities in the genetic profiles of African-Americans and European-Americans who are heavy smokers.

April 2009
Reduced availability heightens reinforcing effects of cocaine in monkeys, and the drug drives this measure even lower.

Describes findings from an animal study showing that cocaine lowers availability of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that includes portions of the reward system.

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