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Neuroplasticity and Its Role in Addiction Treatment

Neuroplasticity and Addiction Recovery

Stanford University: Neural Plasticity and Repair

American Society of Addiction Medicine Releases New Definition of Addiction

Stress, Addiction, and Neuroplasticity: How the Brain Changes

 

Follow Sara Bellum: NIDA for Teens

 

genetics of addiction

 


 

Autism-Related Protein Shown to Play Vital Role in Addiction

 

May have major implications for understanding and implementation of drug-addiction treatment

BELMONT; May 9, 2014—In a paper published in the latest issue of the neuroscience journal Neuron, McLean Hospital investigators report that a gene essential for normal brain development, and previously linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders, also plays a critical role in addiction-related behaviors.

"In our lab, we investigate the brain mechanisms behind drug addiction—a common and devastating disease with limited treatment options," explained Christopher Cowan, PhD, director of the Integrated Neurobiology Laboratory at McLean and an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse causes changes in the brain that could underlie the transition from casual drug use to addiction. By discovering the brain molecules that control the development of drug addiction, we hope to identify new treatment approaches."
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Can 'Love Hormone' Protect against Addiction?

March 20, 2014—Researchers at the University of Adelaide say addictive behaviour such as drug and alcohol abuse could be associated with poor development of the so-called "love hormone" system in our bodies during early childhood.
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In Addiction, Meditation is Helpful When Coupled with Drug and Cognitive Therapies, Study Suggests

AMHERST, MA; December 19, 2013—Using a computational model of addiction, a literature review and an in silico experiment, theoretical computer scientist Yariv Levy and colleagues suggest in a new paper this week that rehabilitation strategies coupling meditation-like practices with drug and behavior therapies are more helpful than drug-plus-talk therapy alone when helping people overcome addiction.
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In Animal Study, “Cold Turkey” Withdrawal from Drugs Triggers Mental Decline

WASHINGTON; November 3, 2013—Can quitting drugs without treatment trigger a decline in mental health? That appears to be the case in an animal model of morphine addiction. Georgetown University Medical Center researchers say their observations suggest that managing morphine withdrawal could promote a healthier mental state in people.
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UNC Study Shows How Two Brain Areas Interact
in Anxiety and Reward Behaviors: Implications for Addiction Therapies

CHAPEL HILL, NC; March 20, 2013—New research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine for the first time explains exactly how two brain regions interact to promote emotionally motivated behaviors associated with anxiety and reward. 

The findings could lead to new mental health therapies for disorders such as addiction, anxiety, and depression. A report of the research was published online by the journal, Nature, on March 20, 2013. 
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Study of Alcohol-Dependent Men Finds
Dramatic Link to Childhood Emotional Abuse

February 5, 2013—People who drink excessively or are alcohol dependent (AD) have reduced central serotonergic neurotransmission, which can have an impact on planning, judgment, self-control, and emotional regulation. Childhood maltreatment has also been found to have a negative impact on central serotonergic neurotransmission. A new evaluation of the impact of childhood maltreatment on central serotonergic dysfunction in AD individuals has found that self-reported childhood emotional abuse is associated with a 90-percent reduction in central serotonergic neurotransmission in male AD individuals.
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Socially Isolated Rats are More Vulnerable to Addiction

January 23, 2013—Rats that are socially isolated during a critical period of adolescence are more vulnerable to addiction to amphetamine and alcohol, found researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. Amphetamine addiction is also harder to extinguish in the socially isolated rats.

These effects, which are described this week in the journal Neuron, persist even after the rats are reintroduced into the community of other rats.
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Traumatic Childhood May Increase the Risk of Drug Addiction

August 31, 2012—A new study examines the link between a traumatic upbringing and personality traits which increase the risk of addiction. Previous research has shown that personality traits such as impulsivity or compulsiveness are indicators of an increased risk of addiction.  Now, new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that these impulsive and compulsive personality traits are also associated with chronic trauma experienced in childhood.  The study was published August 31, 2012, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
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