addiction and the brain

“It’s About Brains, Not Drugs.” New Study Finds That the Expectation of Alcohol Leads to Greater Dopamine Release in People with a Family History of Alcoholism.

A study led by researchers at Columbia and Yale University and published in Biological Psychiatry in May 2018 adds to the large and growing body of research that supports the view that substance use disorders are brain diseases with powerful effects on thinking and behavior, and that there are genetic variations that affect the development and progression of these disorders

MEDSCAPE: Cannabis Harms Brain, Imaging Shows

“Our study provides definitive evidence that in heavy cannabis users, there is a detectable deficit of striatal dopamine release using an amphetamine challenge,” said Dr Weinstein. “Within the striatum, the subdivisions seem to have a different pattern, in contrast to reports of other substance abuse. And our exploratory analysis suggests that the deficits we are seeing in dopamine release in the striatum have a functional significance — that lower dopamine release is associated with lower working memory and learning performance.”

HuffPost: Is The Teen Brain More Vulnerable To Addiction?

In this interview, Dr. Daniel Siegel seeks to correct the traditional view of adolescence as a period of immaturity that is driven by raging hormones. He believes that the impulsivity of adolescence is more accurately explained by the fact that this time in life is a period of brain remodeling that includes profound changes in the dopamine system.

Sex, Drugs and Rejection-Sensitivity: How a Co-Existing Disorder Can Complicate Recovery from Addiction

From Science Daily: “Rejected by a person you like? Just “shake it off” and move on, as music star Taylor Swift says. But while that might work for many people, it may not be so easy for those with untreated depression, a new brain study finds. The pain of social rejection lasts longer for them — and their brain cells release less of a natural pain and stress-reducing chemical called natural opioids.”

New Research Adds to Our Understanding that Alcoholism is a Brain Disease, Not a Moral Problem

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that, “Researchers led by Catherine Fortier at Harvard Medical School found that chronic alcohol misuse damaged white matter in areas of the brain that are important for self-control and recovery from alcoholism. The findings appeared in the December 2014 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Study: ADHD Associated with Earlier Substance Use

A new study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors and reported on health.usnews.com has important implications for parents, educators and health professionals. It found that “among people who use illicit drugs ” those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) start using them one to two years earlier in their youth than those without the disorder.” On average, subjects with ADHD began using alcohol at 13, about 1.5 years before those without the disorder.

Study: A Common Pattern of Gray-Matter Loss Across a Range of Disorders–Including Addiction

Stanford University School of Medicine has published a study in the current issue of JAMA Psychiatry (February 4) that indicates there is a common pattern of gray matter loss in key brain structures across a wide spectrum of brain disorders that clinicians and researchers tend to view as distinct problems.