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TSRI scientists find simple method to convert human skin cells into sensory neurons

TSRI scientists find simple method to convert human skin cells into sensory neurons

A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has found a simple method to convert human skin cells into the specialized neurons that detect pain, itch, touch and other bodily sensations. These neurons are also affected by spinal cord injury and involved in Friedreich's ataxia, a devastating and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease that largely strikes children. [More]
Alzheimer's drug may reduce addictive and impulsive behavior associated with binge eating

Alzheimer's drug may reduce addictive and impulsive behavior associated with binge eating

The Alzheimer's drug memantine may perform double-duty helping binge eaters control their compulsion. [More]
Successful treatments help HIV-infected persons achieve similar longevity as those without HIV

Successful treatments help HIV-infected persons achieve similar longevity as those without HIV

New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that HIV-infected adults are at a higher risk for developing heart attacks, kidney failure and cancer. But, contrary to what many had believed, the researchers say these illnesses are occurring at similar ages as adults who are not infected with HIV. [More]
Low subjective social status linked to mental disorder risk

Low subjective social status linked to mental disorder risk

Researchers report an inverse association between people’s subjective social status (SSS) and the likelihood of them having a psychiatric disorder. [More]
Scratching itchy skin causes the brain to release serotonin, intensifies itchy feeling

Scratching itchy skin causes the brain to release serotonin, intensifies itchy feeling

Turns out your mom was right: Scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation. [More]
Illicit drug use, tourism contribute to elevated HIV/AIDS risk in the Dominican Republic

Illicit drug use, tourism contribute to elevated HIV/AIDS risk in the Dominican Republic

The Caribbean has the second highest global human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence in the world outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, with HIV/AIDS as leading cause of death among people aged 20–59 years within the region. Particularly hard-hit are the Dominican Republic (DR) and Haiti, on the island of Hispaniola, accounting for approximately 70% of all people living with HIV in the Caribbean region. [More]
Ghrelin has potential to stimulate alcohol craving, study reveals

Ghrelin has potential to stimulate alcohol craving, study reveals

Ghrelin is a hormone released by the stomach and it stimulates appetite and food intake. Alcohol is commonly viewed as a psychoactive substance that primarily affects brain function, but it is also a highly caloric food. [More]
Researchers find potential target for therapies to treat cocaine addiction

Researchers find potential target for therapies to treat cocaine addiction

A study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has identified a potential target for therapies to treat cocaine addiction. [More]
Engineered cells reveal changes associated with learning, memory and reward

Engineered cells reveal changes associated with learning, memory and reward

Scientists have created cells with fluorescent dyes that change color in response to specific neurochemicals. By implanting these cells into living mammalian brains, they have shown how neurochemical signaling changes as a food reward drives learning, they report in Nature Methods online October 26. [More]
Family-focused intervention program leads to fewer drop-out rates among Mexican American children

Family-focused intervention program leads to fewer drop-out rates among Mexican American children

New research findings from a team of prevention scientists at Arizona State University demonstrates that a family-focused intervention program for middle-school Mexican American children leads to fewer drop-out rates and lower rates of alcohol and illegal drug use. [More]
Infant’s cry can indicate prenatal cocaine exposure

Infant’s cry can indicate prenatal cocaine exposure

A new study conducted by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers provides the first known evidence of how a similar acoustic characteristic in the cry sounds of human infants and rat pups may be used to detect the harmful effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on nervous system development. [More]
Verbal abuse worsens bipolar disease outcome

Verbal abuse worsens bipolar disease outcome

Experiencing verbal abuse in childhood has a lasting negative effect on the course of bipolar disorder, researchers have found. [More]
Buprenorphine maintenance therapy better than detoxification for treating prescription opioid dependence

Buprenorphine maintenance therapy better than detoxification for treating prescription opioid dependence

For treating patients with prescription opioid dependence in primary care, buprenorphine maintenance therapy is superior to detoxification, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers published in the Oct. 20 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. [More]
FDA accepts Eisai's sNDA for perampanel drug for treatment of PGTC seizures

FDA accepts Eisai's sNDA for perampanel drug for treatment of PGTC seizures

Eisai Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for review the company's Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for its in-house-discovered AMPA receptor antagonist perampanel for the treatment of primary generalized tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures. [More]
NIH announces 11 awards to improve public health outcomes related to substance use, addiction

NIH announces 11 awards to improve public health outcomes related to substance use, addiction

More than $11 million over three years will be used to support research exploring the use of social media to advance the scientific understanding, prevention, and treatment of substance use and addiction. [More]
Newborns of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have altered stress hormones, DNA

Newborns of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have altered stress hormones, DNA

Researchers from The Miriam Hospital have studied the effects of smoking during pregnancy and its impact on the stress response in newborn babies. Their research indicates that newborns of mothers who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy show lower levels of stress hormones, lowered stress response, and alterations in DNA for a gene that regulates passage of stress hormones from mother to fetus. [More]
Cannabis use during adolescence: an interview with Dr Edmund Silins

Cannabis use during adolescence: an interview with Dr Edmund Silins

We know quite a lot about the effects of cannabis on the body and brain but there is still a need to better understand its impact on the health, well-being and development of long term users. [More]
Reducing heart failure deaths: an interview with Dimitrios Georgiopoulos, UK Medical Director, Novartis

Reducing heart failure deaths: an interview with Dimitrios Georgiopoulos, UK Medical Director, Novartis

Heart failure is a debilitating, and life-threatening, condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body. When heart failure continues to progress and worsen over time, the persistent condition is known as chronic heart failure. [More]
Intensive parenting and education provided in homes reduces drug use in pregnant teens

Intensive parenting and education provided in homes reduces drug use in pregnant teens

Intensive parenting and health education provided in homes of pregnant American Indian teens reduced the mothers' illegal drug use, depression and behavior problems, and set their young children on track to meet behavioral and emotional milestones they may have otherwise missed. [More]
UChicago awarded $12 million grant to establish national center to study drug abuse-related behaviors

UChicago awarded $12 million grant to establish national center to study drug abuse-related behaviors

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded the University of Chicago a $12 million, five year grant to establish a national Center of Excellence to study drug abuse-associated behaviors by conducting research with rats. [More]